Below is the rush transcript of "This Week" on April 20, 2014. It may contain errors.
ANNOUNCER: Now on ABC This Week. Breaking news, a U.S. drone strike kills almost a dozen suspected al Qaeda operatives. We have brand new details about why the U.S. felt it had to act right now.
High alert: as Boston gets ready to run, our investigator Brian Ross behind the scenes as police prep for every scenario.
Finding faith: a new generation of evangelicals stepping up. But is their political power on the decline? A special Easter Sunday conversation with Franklin Graham.
Plus, baby on board.
CHELSEA CLINTON, BILL CLINTON'S DAUGHTER: We have our first child arriving later this year.
ANNOUNCER: Chelsea Clinton surprise announcement. Has a Clinton dynasty begun?
From ABC News, This Week with George Stephanopoulos begins now.
MARTHA RADDATZ, HOST: Good morning, I'm Martha Raddatz. Happy Easter.
As we come on the air this morning, we have three stories which could affect your safety and security breaking right now.
In Boston, an unprecedented operation unfolding to protect tomorrow's marathon. In Yemen, where U.S. drone just took out 10 suspected al Qaeda militants. Was it in response to this new terror video.
And Ukraine, where civil war looks increasingly likely after a fragile truce destroyed moments ago by a checkpoint firefight.
We have team coverage from around the globe and we do begin with Alex Marquardt in Ukraine -- Alex.
ALEX MARQUARDT, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Martha.
A mysterious and deadly shootout this morning is deepening divisions, raising tensions here after Ukraine had announced an Easter suspension of its military operation to quash pro-Russian unrest in the eastern part of the country. Around 3:00 am, pro-Russian militants say they were attacked outside of a town that they control and say several of their members were killed by a far right nationalist group, which is aligned with the new government in Kiev.
Now the evidence they're offering is suspicious, but already Moscow is saying it is outraged by Ukraine's unwillingness to control anti-Russian extremists. It's the latest sign that the deal signed in Geneva with Secretary of State John Kerry and other international partners last week has had no effect. It called on illegal armed groups to put down their weapons and leave occupied buildings like this one here, but so far no one has budged -- Martha.
RADDATZ: Thanks, Alex.
Now to that big hit against al Qaeda in Yemen. A U.S. drone taking out 10 of the terror group's suspected operatives. Let's go straight to one of the only western journalists inside Yemen. Reporter Iona Craig. Thanks for joining us, Iona.
Tell us what you know about these militants. We're told they were leaving a training camp.
IONA CRAIG, JOURNALIST: Yes, we don't know the names or ranks of those individuals which seems to indicate they were probably foot soldiers, but are not senior ranked al Qaeda members, but the government has said that they were apparently involved in organizing operations against the military and security installations and leaders of the security apparatus here in Yemen.
But it's obviously very difficult to independently verify those claims, but certainly even the government has acknowledged that three civilians were also killed in that strike.
RADDATZ: And you are hearing this morning there were also more air strikes in Yemen?
CRAIG: Yes, so there was at least one, if not two more strikes this morning. The ministry of defense here has described those as air strikes, so it's unclear if they are, in fact, a U.S. drone strike or Yemeni air force strikes. They were carried out (inaudible), which has been regularly targeted by the Yemeni air force here, all in the same sort of area in southern Yemen which has become particularly the ferry (ph) was hit this morning called Nafad (ph), a real stronghold for Ansar al Shariah.
RADDATZ: There was an al Qaeda terror tape released recently, any tie-in between that tape and these strikes?
CRAIG: It's very unclear if the area of Nafad (ph) which I just mentioned, which were targeted again this morning, was hit very soon after that video was released. And that certainly indicated that that was being targeted perhaps as a result of that video being released.
RADDATZ: Our thanks to Iona. Let's bring in Chairman Michael McCaul from the House Homeland Security committee and ABC News contributor Admiral Robert Harward, former Navy SEAL and former deputy commander of U.S. Central Command. I want to talk to you, Chairman McCaul first you have been briefed on this. What do you know?
REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL, (R) TEXAS: Well, if the reporting is accurate, this is a very significant drone strike. As you know, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, poses probably the greatest external threat to the homeland itself. They're the ones who are involved with bomb making devices to go undetected on airplanes. They are the ones who created Inspire magazine that inspired the Boston bombers that we'll be talking about later in the show.
And so I think the fact the administration now is going aggressively against these terrorists I think is a very positive sign given the prior narrative that al Qaeda is on the run and this is all over.
I do view AQAP as again the most lethal force, if you will, posing the greatest external threat to the United States.
RADDATZ: And Admiral Harward, let me ask you, in that tape that we saw, it was taken in broad daylight. And you had an al Qaeda leader. What does that tell you about what they're thinking?
ADMIRAL ROBERT HARWARD, FRM. CENTCOM COMMANDER: Well, either they're very brazen or not very smart to realize that over the last 12 years we've maintained a focus on those individuals who pose threats not only to our people, but our partners. And we'll pursue them wherever they may be.
So to provide additional intelligence or information that helps us locate them is not very smart on their behalf.
RADDATZ: And some of those in the tape had blurred faces. The al Qaeda operatives blurred the faces in the tape. What does that tell you?
HARWARD: That tells you they don't want you to know who they are. They know we're watching them.
RADDATZ: But could it tell you something is underway and something is planned?
HARWARD: I don't know, Martha. There are a lot of different players involved in this. And we're working closely with our partners. So there's a lot of folks who maintain this pressure and anything we need to protect in terms of tactics, techniques, procedures, or certain individuals that we don't want to disclose is at play here.
RADDATZ: OK. Thanks to both of you.
Now to Boston where the operation to protect tomorrow's marathon is unfolding right now. Authorities are on high alert setting up an underground command center. And we got an exclusive inside look, ABC's chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross is in Boston -- Brian.
BRIAN ROSS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Martha.
The Boston police commissioner told me his only real fear about tomorrow is some kind of copycat attack. So he's deploying thousands of officers and spending millions of dollars to make sure that does not happen.
ROSS: The city seems in a festive mood with a record number of runners, some 36,000 signed up to run this year's marathon. But it's all deadly serious inside what's known as the bunker, the underground high tech control room where Kurt Schwartz, the director of the state's emergency management agency, showed us around. More than 100 newly installed cameras along the 26.2 mile route will be monitored, twice as many as last year.
KURT SCHWARTZ, DIRECTOR, MASSACHUSETTS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY: We have expanded across the board.
ROSS: Last year, surveillance cameras helped to pinpoint the alleged bombers, but only days after the attack.
The challenge this year is to stop any possible attack before it happens.
SCHWARTZ: Anything of trouble and any person that's presenting a concern to us maybe monitored very quickly.
ROSS: In addition to the cameras, some 4,000 police officers will be on patrol along the route. 500 of them will be undercover in an effort to keep the festive spirit from being overwhelmed by the police.
SCHWARTZ: I don't want to be a (inaudible) people feel intimidated by the police presence.
ROSS: Boston's new police commissioner, Bill Evans, runner himself who was in last year's marathon, will be on duty all day this year.
What will you be looking for?
BILL EVANS, BOSTON POLICE COMMISSIONER: Well, I think, you know, we'll be looking for somebody who doesn't feel right, the characteristics -- a lot of our officers underwent training looking at the characteristics of someone who might be carrying explosives.
ROSS: Evans' officers have already put their training to the test when a mentally unstable person was spotted during a memorial tribute this past week with a backpack that turned out to have a rice cooker with confetti in it. It was a hoax, but the bomb squad was taking no chances.
EVANS: It was a nice drill. We did what we were trained to do.
ROSS: The winners of last year's marathon, Lelisa Desisa from Ethiopia and Rita Jeptoo from Kenya were all but forgotten because of the bomb attack. But they're both back this year.
RITA JEPTOO, 2013 BOSTON MARATHON WINNER: I came here to support here.
ROSS: To support Boston. You're not scared about running?
JEPTOO: No, I'm not. OK, I'm a little scared, because I know that it's security.
ROSS: Martha, the police commissioner also told me there's no intelligence whatsoever that there is a possible attack, that this is a target of any terrorists. Of course, that was the case last year, too -- Martha.
RADDATZ: Thanks, Brian.
Chairman McCaul is back with us along with former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly now an ABC News contributor. Welcome again to you Chairman McCaul and to you Commissioner Kelly.
I want to start with you Chairman McCaul. The race director says Boston is now the safest place on the planet. Do you agree? Are you that confident?
MCCAUL: Well, I talked to the Boston police commissioner the other day, I've talked to our homeland security operations on the ground. I do believe it's very ramped up security wise, cameras, personnel, canines, all sorts of bomb detecting equipment. So I do think it's very well fortified. It'll be difficult to penetrate that.
I am concerned, as was noted, a copycat type demonstration, or someone who was inspired by the Tamerlan brothers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, to perpetrate another act of jihadism. That's a very real scenario.
We don't have any chatter right now. But I think as Brian pointed out earlier, we didn't have that last time.
So I think this -- what's the good news is since last time after we've done our reports and investigations of what happened last time, is that now we're having full cooperation, I think, with the FBI in terms of on the ground security and so I feel confident we're going to have a safe and successful marathon tomorrow.
I know the entire nation is cheering for Boston.
RADDATZ: They certainly are.
Commissioner Kelly, there's nobody who knows how to keep masses of people safe like you do as the former commissioner in the New York City Police Department.
But what do you look for specifically? We're talking about 26.2 miles here.
RAY KELLY, FORMER COMMISSIONER, NYC P.D.: No question about it. It's a long distance to secure. I think what you look for is abnormalities. What we used to say is you look at your world through the prism of 9/11.
Now the officers, the spectators have to look at their world through the prism of what happened on April 15th, 2013.
From my perspective, I think the Boston authorities, the Massachusetts authorities have done everything they reasonably can do to make this a safe and secure event.
You can reduce the risks but in a free and open society, you can never totally eliminate it.
It's important to note, I think, that this race goes through eight towns, including Boston. So that means you need a lot of coordination and a lot of communication. And that's what the authorities have been focusing on for the better part of the last year.
I think last week Governor Patrick said that they had a tabletop exercise involving 450 people. To me, that shows that they're looking at the right things because if something happens outside --
RADDATZ: Commissioner --
KELLY: -- have to respond.
RADDATZ: -- tell me then what worries you most for tomorrow.
KELLY: Well, obviously, some sort of copycat event, and something that looks similar to what we saw last year.
And again, you cannot totally rule out an event happening away from the -- from the marathon. And I believe that the Massachusetts authorities and the Boston police have put that into the equation. You need resources to respond to locations away from the marathon if something untoward happens.
RADDATZ: And Chairman McCaul, the report from your committee said the FBI failed to fully act on intelligence it received last year about Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Quickly, if you will, could we have stopped this last year?
MCCAUL: Well, you know, my reports and also the inspector general came out with a report saying that investigative steps were not taken when the FBI were investigating Tamerlan prior to the bombing. Then they potentially would have shown these signs of radicalization. They were taking place. Interviews were not taken; leads were not followed up, warning signs were not -- were sort of missed and --
RADDATZ: So could it have been stopped?
MCCAUL: Well, I think the overseas travel was a key here. And we missed that completely. And even the FBI supervisor said that was a significant event that -- and quite frankly, would have changed everything had the case agent on the ground reported that to his supervisors.
I would hope that would never happen again.
RADDATZ: Thank you, Chairman, we hope as well.
Up next on this Easter Sunday, our closer look at the political power of evangelicals. We'll talk with Franklin Graham.
Plus George Stephanopoulos with former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, revealing his dramatic proposal to change the Second Amendment.
And in our "Sunday Spotlight," that big baby news this week. Could it put a bump in Hillary's 2016 plans?
And is it sexist to ask?
We're back in just two minutes.
RADDATZ: Now on this Easter Sunday our closer look at the political power of evangelicals. They're 15 percent of the adult population, yet in 2012, accounted for nearly a quarter of all voters.
But is their outsized political influence fading? We'll talk with Reverend Franklin Graham and other leaders.
First, here's Dan Harris.
DAN HARRIS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One glance at the heavily tattooed, skinny jean wearing pastor Carl Lentz --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're here and you're looking around --
HARRIS (voice-over): And you will quickly conclude that this place called Hillsong is not your traditional church.
CARL LENTZ, PASTOR: You invite someone to church, they're not normally like this. Sounds so fun.
When you come to our church, sometimes people are shocked because it looks like people want to be there, which is like music to my ears, because we do want to be there.
HARRIS (voice-over): Every Sunday in New York City, Lentz and his crew preach to 5,000 mostly young worshipers, including occasional celebrities like Justin Bieber. Here you will find fashion forward outfits, heartfelt talk about Jesus and professional grade, pop-inflected gospel music.
But one thing you won't hear: much talk of politically divisive issues, such as gay marriage or abortion.
HARRIS: You actually come out and state your positions on these -- ?
LENTZ: No, because -- well, I can't say no unequivocally. But by and large, I don't believe my job as a pastor is to be the chief politician. And I do think there's room for disagreement in church.
HARRIS (voice-over): This is a far cry from the evangelical megachurches I've visited in well over a decade of covering the American faith scene, like when I interviewed firebrand televangelist, the last D. James Kennedy (ph), in the aftermath of George W. Bush's reelection in 2004, in which so-called value voters played a huge role.
HARRIS: What do you say to people in those states who are really worried about the impact that Christian conservatives can have on our government.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Repent.
HARRIS (voice-over): For decades, evangelicals proudly wore their politics on their sleeves, like Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson, who even ran for president.
But after two Democratic wins, some now suggest the power of social conservatives has faded.
HARRIS: Have we seen a decline in the political potency of the Religious Right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's still a powerful element in the party because they can still determine who wins the nomination. But part of the problem, not in the primaries, but in a general election is the country, in many ways, culturally, is moved away from their issues.
HARRIS (voice-over): Take gay marriage, where attitudes have changed substantially. Fifty-nine percent of Americans now support it. And while 72 percent of evangelicals over 30 oppose gay marriage, among evangelicals under 30, that number drops to 49 percent.
Jim Daly, leader of the powerful evangelical organization Focus on the Family, has taken note.
JIM DALY, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY: You can have dialogue with people you disagree with. I'm doing that now behind the scenes, talking to people in the gay community. We don't agree on marriage, but there are other things that we can work toward to make culture better.
HARRIS (voice-over): Daly took over for founder and political lightning rod Dr. James Dobson, who once said gay marriage would lead to group marriage or incest. From Daly, a different tone.
DALY: I can be kind to you and disagree with you. That's hard in this culture, but it's something we have to relearn.
HARRIS (voice-over): Still he notes a change in tone doesn't mean a change in principles, which all adds up to a new challenge for a new generation of evangelicals.
LENTZ: I think we try to present people what we believe truth to be and what the gospel is and what you do with it, that's on you.
HARRIS (voice-over): For THIS WEEK, Dan Harris, ABC News, New York.
RADDATZ: Our thanks to Dan Harris.
And here now to discuss are the Reverend Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; Dr. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission; Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and also author of the new book, "Awakening;" and our own Cokie Roberts.
Welcome to you all. We'll talk about politics in a minute.
But Easter, a fitting time to talk about religion and faith as Christians flock to churches, but maybe not as many this year. Let me read you these numbers from Gallup.
Attendance is down across the country; in 1992 70 percent of respondents said they were a member of a church or synagogue; in 2013, that number had dropped to 59 percent.
Reverend, what is happening?
REVEREND FRANKLIN GRAHAM, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE BILLY GRAHAM EVANGELISTIC ASSOCIATION: Well, listen, no question those numbers are correct. And so I'm not going to be out of a job. I'm an evangelist. I want people to know that God loves them, that God is real.
And as this is Easter and Jesus Christ came to this Earth to take our sins and he died on a cross for our sins. God will forgive our sins --
RADDATZ: I know you're going to be in church today.
RADDATZ: But let's talk about the change. Let's talk about this declining number.
RADDATZ: -- what happened? What do you do about it?
GRAHAM: Well, I keep telling people about God's love because even though people may not be going to church, there's still a -- people still want to know the truth. And people want to know how can I --
RADDATZ: OK. You're not worried.
Dr. Moore, are you worried at all about this declining --
MOORE: I'm not worried --
RADDATZ: -- attendance? What do you do about it?
MOORE: I'm not worried, either, because I think what we're seeing is the collapse of a cultural nominal form of Christianity. There was a time in America where in order to be a good person, to be seen as a good citizen, one had to nominally, at least, be a member of a church.
Those days are over. And so we're at a point now where Christianity is able to be authentic and Christianity is able to be authentically strange. Many people now, when they hear about what Christians believe, what evangelical Christians believe, the response is to say that sounds -- that sounds freakish to me. That sounds odd and that sounds strange.
Well, of course, it does. We believe that a previously dead man is now the ruler of the universe and offers forgiveness of sins to anyone who will repent and believe.
That's the same sort of reaction that happened in the Greco-Roman empire when Christianity first emerged.
MOORE: So it offers an opportunity for the church to speak clearly, articulately about what it is that we believe, to give a winsome and clear message about what the gospel actually is.
RADDATZ: The political power seemed really to be winning --
COKIE ROBERTS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: (INAUDIBLE) on the church thing before you turn to the politics, which is that what we do see in the numbers is very interesting. In the Pew numbers on this young people are the people least likely to go to church. And that's hardly unusual.
But they -- all these people who say that they are not connected to a religion, most of them, something close to 70 percent say they believe in God. And something like 25 percent say they pray every day.
So it's organized religion that they're having a problem with. It's not really belief. And I think that's significant.
And I must say, as someone who goes to a Catholic Church every Sunday, I see it full of people. And there's this new pope, has injected so much joyfulness that you really do see a tremendous --
RADDATZ: Well, maybe they can -- the evangelicals can get a lesson from the pope.
ROBERTS: There you go.
RADDATZ: Let me turn to politics.
Mr. Reed, in 2011, the Pew foreign poll of evangelical leaders around the world, 82 percent of American evangelical leaders said that evangelical Christianity was losing political influence.
What do you do about that? That's got to be more of a concern to you.
REED: Well, we're about that work. I mean, what we do at the Faith and Freedom Coalition is go into about 100,000 churches nationwide. We conduct voter registration drives. We pass out voter guides. We now have the ability because of the technology of the Internet to communicate with up to 89 million evangelicals online. I don't want to frighten anybody, but you know, if you go on certain websites or you buy a religious or a Christian book, we have the ability to send you a voter guide.
And let me tell you something, Martha. They have been writing the obituary of this movement for 30 years. After Jerry Falwell closed the Moral Majority, they said we were dead. After I left the Christian Coalition, they said we were dead.
RADDATZ: Let me bring in Dr. Moore.
RADDATZ: -- the Moral Majority no longer exists, basically, the illusion of a Moral Majority is no longer sustainable; the Moral Majority, of course, Jerry Falwell's movement that reached a peak in the '80s.
MOORE: Yes, it's a different time and that means that the way that we speak, that we speak in a different way. We speak to people who don't necessarily agree with us.
There was a time in which we could assume that most Americans agreed with us on life and on abortion and upon religious liberty and other issues. And we simply had to say we're for the same things you're for. Join us.
It's a different day. We have to speak to the rest of the culture and say here's why this is in your interest to value life, to value family, to value religious liberty.
RADDATZ: You heard Dan's piece there and certainly the issue of gay marriage has been a big one.
Reverend Graham, I want to ask you about this, just a few months after taking office, Pope Francis spoke out on the issue of homosexuality, saying if they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized, the tendency to homosexuality is not the problem. They're our brothers.
You recently said that Congress could learn something from President Vladimir Putin on the issue of homosexuals and adoption.
Let's take a look at what you said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAHAM: Gays and lesbians cannot have children. Biologically it's impossible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. It's not but --
GRAHAM: Yes, they can recruit. I think -- I agreed with Putin; I think protecting his nation's children, I think, was probably a pretty smart thing to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: I suspect you still support that, what you said.
You still support Putin?
GRAHAM: No, I think -- I think Putin is going to do what's right for Russia. And not what's right for America, but for Russia. We used to have a president in this country that did what's right for this country. But we don't seem to have that right now.
Putin is going to make these decisions that he thinks is best for the Russian people and he thinks taking advantage of children, exploiting children is wrong for any group.
And they have passed a law.
RADDATZ: Do you agree with what Reverend Graham said in that interview?
MOORE: No, I agreed that every child deserves both a mom and a dad. What I -- what I would disagree with is Vladimir Putin doing what's best for Russia. I have two children I adopted from a Russian orphanage. And I see the way that Mr. Putin has used Russian orphans as pawns. Their children and orphans in orphanages all over Russia who are waiting for parents, he has shut down adoption from America.
So I don't see him as a -- as a sympathetic figure. But I would agree with Reverend Graham that a child needs both a mom and a dad.
REED: And by the way, Martha, the social science on this is clear. This isn't about Vladimir Putin. This is about what's best for children here in the United States. And the social science is irrefutable. And it is that a child who grows up in a home without the mother and father present and they both play very unique procreative, nurturing and socializing role, they're nine times more likely to end up dropping out of high school. They're five times more likely to end up in poverty. And they're three times more likely to end up addicted --
ROBERTS: -- orphanages and --
REED: -- drugs and alcohol.
ROBERTS: -- than a child raised in a home. And the fact that people are willing to take these children and raise them and raise them in a loving way is clearly better for these children --
RADDATZ: Would you agree with that?
Would you rather have a child sitting in an orphanage and not have gay parents?
REED: I think that the social science is just simply not in yet on same-sex couples and I think the law has every right to set an ideal. And the ideal is a mother and a father --
ROBERTS: -- the reason the numbers have changed so dramatically on this, first of all, that ideal isn't true in all kinds of families that (INAUDIBLE) being what it is and the abandoned mothers.
But it is also true -- I mean, if we got -- if we got better men, we'd be in better shape.
But the --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No disagreement there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No disagreement here either.
ROBERTS: The reason the numbers have changed so fast and so dramatically on this question of gay marriage -- it's really like no other issue we've ever experienced -- is because everybody in American now has experience with someone who is gay. People have come out of the closet and said, I am your brother. I am your sister. And then they have seen these families raising children and see these --
RADDATZ: I'm going to switch on this last one, back to you, Reverend Graham. And I'm going to ask you about your dad.
Your father was known as the pastor to the presidents.
Does that rule still exist, do you think?
GRAHAM: Well, I don't know, not like he had it. But our country is different today and it's changed, no question.
But my father's doing pretty well within a couple of days ago. And he's doing a little better. And I appreciate --
RADDATZ: Ninety-five years old.
GRAHAM: -- 95 years of age. And he's still -- his mind is still sharp. And that's what's so amazing.
You know, when we talk about families and we talk about gay people, many people -- maybe gays that are watching, you know, want to know can God forgive me or can I go to heaven as a gay person, absolutely. But the same for any of us. We have to repent of our sins and turn. A person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God. You have to repent.
RADDATZ: What would you say to those children? What would you say to those children of gay parents?
GRAHAM: What children? Of gay parents?
RADDATZ: About their parents?
GRAHAM: That, like any parent who is living in sin. If we repent -- Franklin Graham is a sinner, and I'm no better than a gay person. I'm a sinner. But I've been forgiven, and I've turned from my sins.
And for any person that's willing to repent, in turn, God will forgive. And you can be gay and go to heaven, no question.
ROBERTS: There is a lot of gay people who feel that they are sinners, but not because they're gay.
RADDATZ: Thank you, Cokie. Thanks to everyone. And happy Easter to everyone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happy Easter to you.
RADDATZ: That discussion, taped earlier this week so that our guests could celebrate Easter. But back here live in just two minutes, instant reaction to that conversation from the powerhouse "Roundtable."
And later, George's revealing interview with former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.
RADDATZ: Pope Francis celebrating Easter this morning. Check out the massive crowd, 150,000 people packing into Saint Peter's Square. Let's bring in the "Roundtable" now.
Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard; Democratic strategist Donna Brazile; ABC senior correspondent Jeff Zeleny; and CNN "Crossfire" co-host S.E. Cupp. Welcome to everyone. Happy Easter.
S.E., let me start with you and your reaction to what you heard in our "Religious Roundtable."
S.E. CUPP, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Well, yes, that was fascinating. I'll remind people that in 2009, on Easter, the Newsweek cover was called "The Decline and Fall of Christian America." Ralph Reed was right. The death of Christianity has been claimed for years and years, decades, in fact. There was that TIME magazine cover in 1966 "Is God Dead?".
As for gay marriage, look, there's movement on this. I'm part of a group called Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry. We've been trying to change the platform at the RNC, with some luck locally.
I will say conservatives have got to move on gay marriage. If abortion is the...
RADDATZ: And, S.E., you look at the numbers. That's what stuck out.
RADDATZ: Seventy-five percent of all Americans under 30 say they support gay marriage, and 43 percent of evangelicals...
DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: They have to move on more than just gay marriage. They have to move on human rights, human trafficking, climate change, there are so many issues that I think animates young people.
They want a church that's inclusive. They want a church like the Gospel itself, that preach about the least of these, that provide a way out of no way, that gives sinners an opportunity to repent, but to be redeemed.
They want a church that is part of their lives, not that condemns them, but brings them closer to their God.
RADDATZ: Bill Kristol, quickly on the politics. Is their influence waning?
BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: No, not as much as people here think. But I love what Cokie said, if we got better men, we would be in better shape.
KRISTOL: And the American form of religion I do think helps to produce...
RADDATZ: That was a pretty good comment, yes.
JEFF ZELENY, ABC SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: I think Bill is right. I mean, the influence is not waning, particularly in the Republican presidential primaries in 2016. There's not a litmus test as there used to be, but there will still not be a pro-choice Republican on the ticket, I don't think, hard to win the nomination.
And also in the mid-term elections, abortion is still an issue on some ballot issues and things. So it's not waning as much as we think.
CUPP: And that's what I mean. Conservatives have to move on gay adoption. If abortion is the abhorrent option, and I believe it is, then adoption by any two loving people, has got to be the better option.
BRAZILE: You know, in 2008 it was 23 percent of voters, the religious right, in 2012, 23 percent of voters. It's not growing.
ZELENY: The primaries...
RADDATZ: And on that note, up next, George Stephanopoulos and former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, and Justice Stevens also has our "Powerhouse Puzzler" this week. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN PAUL STEVENS, FORMER SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: What four words are written above the main entrance to the Supreme Court Building?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: You've got to love it. Thank you, Justice Stevens. Back in just two minutes to see if the "Roundtable" and you guess the answer.
RADDATZ: So what four words are written above the main entrance to the Supreme Court Building?
KRISTOL: "Equal justice under law"?
RADDATZ: That's a good guess.
CUPP: Oh, look at you two.
ZELENY: I have "Justice above the law."
CUPP: I'm pretty sure this is right.
CUPP: Oh, I'm totally blind.
RADDATZ: You know who we should ask? Let's ask Justice Stevens for the answer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN PAUL STEVENS, FRM. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: The answer is equal justice under law. Those words are often thought of as just portraying the duty of the judicial system to provide equal justice, but in fact the words describe the government's duty to govern impartially, to treat everyone under the law equally, which applies to legislatures, executive and all government personnel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: And the winners are the two of you, way to go.
And who would have guessed you'd be quizzed by a former justice on Supreme Court trivial.
And Justice Stevens is out with a new book this Tuesday called "Six Amendments." It's causing a bit of a fire storm with its controversial proposals for changing our founding document. He sat down with George Stephanopoulos.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: You've had a reputation on the bench as a moderate for so many years. And I read this book where you're calling for six amendments to the constitution and I wonder have you become a radical?
STEVENS: No. I think every one of my proposals is a moderate proposal.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Each with six amendments of the constitution moderate proposals?
STEVENS: Well, I think each of them is -- well, perhaps not. I hadn't thought exactly how to classify them.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Justice Stevens' most controversial idea, adding five words to the second amendment. Here's how it would change, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, when serving in the militia, shall not be infringed."
Wouldn't that take away any limits to what a legislature could do to the rights of gun owners?
STEVENS: I think that's probably right. But I think that's what should be the rule that it should be legislatures rather than judges who draw the line what is permissible.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And you think that's because it's clearly this is what was intended?
STEVENS: Oh, I do think that was what was intended, because there was a fear among the original farmers that the federal government would be so strong that they might destroy the state militias. The amendment would merely prevent arguments being made that congress doesn't have the power to do what they think is in the best public interest.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But to be clear if congress passed a national ban on individual gun ownership, that would be constitutional under your amendment.
STEVENS: I think that's right.
STEPHANOPOULOS: In another proposed amendment, Stevens targets congress. He says that gerrymandering to, quote, preserve political power, should be unconstitutional.
Pretty subjective, isn't it?
STEVENS: Well, it's subjective, but it's easily recognizable if you look at the shapes of the districts that gerrymandering produces. It doesn't take a genius to say that there's something fishy with these particular districts.
STEPHANOPOULOS: It makes me think of that famous Potter Stewart observation about obscenity, "you know it when you see it."
STEVENS: Right. And I think Potter Stewart would have agreed with what I say in the book.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You also express great optimism in your book that eventually all of these will pass.
STEVENS: I really believe that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I was talking to a close friend of mine on the way in here. We started laughing out loud at that idea, these seem like they're -- that they'd have almost no chance in today's political system.
STEVENS: Well, perhaps today there might be no chance for certainly the second amendment proposal. But the difficulty of the process shouldn't foreclose an attempt.
STEPHANOPOULOS: When Justice Stevens retired in 2010, he was replaced by Elena Kagan, a solid vote in the court's liberal bloc. And now Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 81, is resisting calls from liberals who want her to step down this summer so that Obama can appoint and a Democratic senate can confirm her successor.
Is that something that you think justices should consider as they're making that decision?
STEVENS: Well, I did not consider...
STEPHANOPOULOS: You didn't? A lot of people think you did. No politics at all in your decision.
STEVENS: Well, my decision was not made for any political reason whatsoever. It was my concern about my own health.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you think it's something that justices should take into account?
STEVENS: I think so. I think certainly natural and appropriate to think about your successor not only in this job -- I'm just finishing reading the book by former Secretary Gates, he thought a lot about his successor in job too. You're interested in the job and the kind of work is done you have to have an interest in who is going to fill your shoes.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, if Justice Ginsburg came to you and asked your advice?
STEVENS: I'd say she doesn't need my advice. She really doesn't.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Very wise.
STEVENS: It's interesting, because she did ask my advice when she became the senior associate justice and basically I gave her that same answer.
STEPHANOPOULOS: One final question, I was so struck by the letter that President Ford wrote before he died back in 2005 where he said that he was prepared to have his entire tenure as president judged by his selection of you to the Supreme Court. He was so proud of that choice.
As you look back on your more than 40 years on the bench, how do you judge your own contribution?
STEVENS: How do I judge my own -- well, that's really awfully hard, because it's a series of individual important events and some are terribly disappointing and some are terribly gratifying. And you mix them all together it's really hard to pass judgment on the entirety.
But, look it, I did the best I could and I didn't do well enough on many occasions.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, I think everyone agreed you did your best and there's a lot you should be proud of. Justice Stevens, thank you very much for your time today.
RADDATZ: Our thanks to George. Check out an excerpt of Justice Steven's book "Six Amendments" at ABC News.com/ThisWeek. And we are back now with the roundtable.
Justice Stevens' comments on the second amendment take us right to the big announcement by New York -- former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He's giving $50 million for gun control. Is that significant. I mean, when you compare that to the NRA raising $256 million in 2012, Bill Kristol?
KRISTOL: The NRA has three or four million members, actual people, Americans, who care a lot about this issue. The idea that Mike Bloomberg is going to buy gun control measures by throwing money around, I think that's kind of ridiculous.
RADDATZ: Will his money get members, Donna?
BRAZILE: But the focus here is on getting ordinary Americans who support strong background checks to become actively involved. He's got moms, he got mayors, there are millions of Americans who I believe will be part of this grass roots campaign for common sense gun safety laws.
RADDATZ: Is he the right face for this, Jeff Zeleny?
ZELENY: Absolutely not. And that is the exact question, because during the Senate debate on this, in the months after Sandy Hook, everyone thought this was some type of background checks would pass the Senate. But it is too easy for politicians out there to say, oh, that's the New York City mayor.
RADDATZ: He's the soda ban mayor.
ZELENY: Perhaps he should give his money and someone else should be the front of this.
But, look, I mean, I think that the NRA the real people you're right on that.
CUPP: Well, he is the best. And by that I mean the worst face for gun control. And believe me, my friends at the NRA high-fived when they heard about this.
Going after the NRA is a very odd thing. The NRA represents law abiding gun owners like myself. They don't represent criminals, they don't even represent gun manufacturers, that's the NSSF.
So why Mayor Bloomberg is turning his figurative guns on people like me when there are criminals out there seems a very strange way to go about reducing gun crime. And his efforts on this issue have been measurable failures. They've been failure, Donna.
BRAZILE: Look, I don't care what his face looks like. I think, first of all, he should be praised for what he's doing with his money. He is trying to stop gun violence in America. 70 percent of domestic abusers now can get firearms because there's no serious background checks. He's trying to save lives. And if saving lives is a bad thing, well god knows...
CUPP: But Donna, look at his efforts. Mayors Against Illegal Guns has crumbled because he doped mayors into thinking they were actually going to fight illegal guns. And when they all found out actually they were going after law abiding gun owners, they said that's not what I want to be a part of.
His efforts are duplicitous. And they are measurably failing...
RADDATZ: OK, we're going to move to another standoff instead of this standoff we have right here.
If you all watched Nevada this week, there was a pretty remarkable scene. You saw militia members standing off against the Bureau of Land Management. Bureau of Land Management went in, took a couple of hundred heads of cattle from a land owner out there who had not paid grazing fees, $1 million. Look at this, these are the militias standing off. The BLM backed off. This is what Harry Reid, the Senator from Nevada said about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HARRY REID, (D) NEVADA: These people who hold themselves out to be patriots are not, they're nothing more than domestic terrorists. I repeat, what went on up there is domestic terrorism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: Domestic terrorism, Bill Kristol.
KRISTOL: I'm not sure I'd use that phrase, but he's no hero, Cliven Bundy, and the people who rallied to threaten force against law enforcement agents doing what they were authorized to do by courts and by their superiors are no heroes either. There are ways to change the law. He went through court, I gather, this gentleman, for about 20 years. He kept losing court cases. If the federal government controls too many -- too much land in Nevada and the west, which they do, there are ways to change that legally too.
RADDATZ: But what about the precedence that's set here. The BLM backed off. I mean, we don't know what they're going to do next, but they backed off in this situation.
BRAZILE: First of all, that was the right thing to do to try to, you know, simmer things down. Remember, this is the 19th anniversary of the Oklahoma bombing. So this notion that Mr. Bundy has no other recourse but violence is absolute -- anti-government violence -- is absolutely wrong. He's been waging this battle for two decades. He lost. Everybody else is paying their grazing fees. He should pay his fees as well.
CUPP: ...reluctant to compare Bundy to Timothy McVeigh. And I think what Harry Reid said was despicable. But I do agree with Bill.
There's a role for civil disobedience. I'm not sure this is the best quality example of it. This is a guy who didn't start out to start a revolution. He just didn't want to pay his grazing fees. And there are better ways to go about it than...
RADDATZ: Just didn't want to pay grazing fees, about $1 million worth of grazing fees.
CUPP: No, that's right.
BRAZILE: That's right. Everybody else is paying their fees.
RADDATZ: I want to turn to Ukraine, you saw the headlines this morning in the New York Times. In Cold War echo, Obama's strategy writes off Putin. White House looks past Ukraine to restrict Russian influence.
Jeff, tell me what you've learned about what the White House is thinking about Vladimir Putin in light of what's happening in Ukraine?
ZELENY: There's no question that that is on the mind of the White House now. Peter Baker at the New York Times wrote that. He worked in Moscow. He's a Moscow expert.
And he is right, this is not how President Obama intended this to go. He talked about -- I remember it well during his campaign -- you know, about forging a new relationship with Russia. Obviously that's not possible. So they are not icing out Putin or saying that we'll never have a relationship. But they know they will not have a constructive relationship.
And the White House is not pushing back against that story at all this morning. They know.
But they are saying that sanctions, more sanctions are sort of in the wings, if you will, more economic sanctions. That's the only thing that they believe they can do.
RADDATZ: Bill Kristol, a little hard to write off the Russian leader. I mean, it's sometimes it's not really your choice what happens in foreign policy.
KRISTOL: No, exactly. I'm thrilled if the White House is studying what Harry Truman did in 1947 and 1948, which is what the article suggests. But what Harry Truman did in 1947 and '48 is help anti-Communists increase in Turkey, the Berlin airlift, the tough stance of sending tons of troops back to Europe to guarantee Europe's -- fear -- western Europe's ability to defend itself against the Soviet Union. And eventually a huge defense buildup. That was the Cold War.
If President Obama goes in that direction, more power to him. But I don't think he will.
RADDATZ: What else could he do?
CUPP: Well, this is remarkable. I mean, it seems like after Russia has played us on Syria, on Iran, on Crimea, finally the White House -- well, now we're in a fight. OK, now you've gone too far.
And I think the mistake all along was thinking that we could be friends to begin with. It's a mistake that Bush made, it's a mistake that Hillary Clinton made, and it's a mistake that President Obama clearly continued to make.
I hope now we're finally taking Russia and Putin more seriously.
RADDATZ: Well, first we got to solve Ukraine, and that may take a little more effort here.
Thanks to all of you. We'll be right back with more.
RADDATZ: We still don't know for certain whether Hillary Clinton will make a presidential bid in 2016, but what we did learn this week is that Mrs. Clinton will soon be a grandmother, a title she has long wanted. GMA Weekend anchor Bianna Golodryga tells us about the big announcement.
C. CLINTON: Mark and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: With her mother by her side, Chelsea Clinton revealed that she and husband Mark Mezvinsky are expecting.
The daughter of America's most famous political couple made the announcement earlier this week during a Clinton Foundation event focused on women's issues.
C. CLINTON: And I certainly feel all the better whether it's a girl or a boy, that she or he will grow up in a world full of so many strong young female leaders.
GOLODRYGA: The proud grandparents quickly tweeted their joy, the former Secretary of State saying "Bill Clinton and I are thrilled that Chelsea and Marc are expecting their first child."
And the former president responded "excited to add a new line to my Twitter bio, grandfather to be."
The pressure had been on, the Clintons making no secret they were ready for a grandchild.
HILLARY CLINTON, FRM. U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I wouldn't mind one of those grandchildren that I hear so much about.
BILL CLINTON, FRM. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would like to have a happy wife, and she won't be unless she's a grandmother.
GOLODRYGA: And grandpa has his reading material ready to go.
B. CLINTON: My daughter when she was a little girl loved the Curious George stories. And I used to tell her the story every night before she went to bed.
GOLODRYGA: Bipartisan congrats are pouring in. Fellow first daughter Jenna Bush Hager welcomed Chelsea to the best club in the world -- mommahood is wonderful.
Chelsea knows she has very big shoes to fill.
C. CLINTON: I just hope that I will be as good a mom to my child, and hopefully children, as my mom was to me.
GOLODRYGA: The baby is due this fall just months before her mother could announce her second run for president.
For This Week, Bianna Golodryga, ABC News, New York.
RADDATZ: Back now with the roundtable.
And Donna, just quickly, does this make any difference to Hillary Clinton's political career?
BRAZILE: Absolutely not. Look, I think Chelsea and Marc will have a happy, healthy baby that will not be part of any focus group. The baby will likely call Mrs. Clinton granny at first and madam president by the time she's...
RADDATZ: Which leads me to my second question, very important question, what do you think Hillary Clinton should be called as a grandmother?
KRISTOL: Yeah, I was going to say Madam Secretary. I think that's a nice...
RADDATZ: Yeah, that's very warm and fuzzy, very warm and fuzzy.
CUPP: I was going to say Hillary Rodham Clinton.
ZELENY: Whatever she wants to be called, grandmother. But Donna is right, this won't impact her political future.
ZELENY: She's been expecting this for a long time. And she wants to run.
RADDATZ: OK. Well, stay tuned for that second title possibility.
Thanks, everyone. Thanks, everyone.
And we honor our fellow Americans now who serve and sacrifice.
The Pentagon released the name of one soldier killed in Afghanistan.
That's all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Easter Sunday with us. Check out World News with David Muir tonight.
And we leave you this morning with images of the finish line at the Boston Marathon. Have a great day and a Happy Easter.