|'This Week' Transcript: Warren Buffett, Powerhouse Roundtable|
|May 4, 2013, 3:01 PM|
A rush transcript of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" airing on Sunday morning, May 5, 2013 on ABC News is below. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, and welcome to This Week. 100 days...
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OBAMA: Maybe I should just pack up and go home?
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STEPHANOPOULOS: ...the president faces tough questions.
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OBAMA: The rumors of my demise may be a little exaggerated.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: How does he fight the lame duck label? Is the problem presidential leadership, or congressional obstruction? Can Washington get anything done now? Then...
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BUFFET: Here we go! Warren is in the house!
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STEPHANOPOULOS: The oracle of Omaha. As the Dow nears 15,000, the world's best investor is here in a This Week exclusive. James Carville and Mary Matalin join our Powerhouse Roundtable. Jason Collins makes history.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: You always knew you were gay?
COLLINS: You know that the sky is blue, but you keep telling yourself that it's red.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: And Whoopi Goldberg shines in our Sunday Spotlight.
ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Reporting from ABC News Headquarters, George Stephanopoulos.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Hello again, a packed show this Sunday morning. And we begin with breaking news from the Middle East. For the second day in a row, Israeli warplanes have hit Syria, a series of large explosions in Damascus. ABC's Alex Marquardt has the latest from Jerusalem. And Alex, I know the Israeli's aren't saying much, but the target apparently Iranian missiles that could be used to target Israel?
MARQUARDT: Good morning, George. That is reportedly one of the targets. Israeli officials, as you say, really aren't saying anything. Which of course, is pretty much standard operating procedure after an operation like this. Just moments ago, Syria said that Israel struck three military targets inside Syria, including an airport, and what we believe is an arms depot on a mountain that overlooks Damascus. Now if confirmed by Israel, this would be the second set of airstrikes inside Syria in the past few days, really just in the past 48 hours.
On the night from Thursday into Friday, Israel is believed to have targeted a shipment of long-range Iranian-made, ground-to-ground missiles bound for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Now, Syria has just released a statement accusing Israel of collaborating with, what they call the al-Qaeda linked group Jabhat al-Nusra. They say, quote that "Israel aims go give direct military support to terrorist groups." Now, Israel has long warned that they will not allow advanced weaponry, specifically chemical weapons from ending up in the hands of its enemies, and that's what appears to be happening here.
An Iranian military official, a top official today said that Hezbollah will respond to these Israeli strikes. It's hard to know whether that's bluster, or whether it's a genuine threat. But as you can imagine, tensions here are very high. Israel has moved two of its famous Iron Dome anti-missile batteries into the north, near the -- near the borders with Syria and Lebanon to cover whatever could come in from there. Not just onto the civilian population, but on to what could be strategic military targets. We're also getting reports that Syria's regime has held an emergency meeting to figure out what it's response should be.
But perhaps in a sign that Israel doesn't think that a response could be eminent, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is proceeding with a trip to China later tonight. George?
STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, Alex. Thanks. And with that, let's bring in our Roundtable, Cokie Roberts from ABC, Bill Richardson, the Democrat, former governor of New Mexico, former U.N. Ambassador and Energy secretary, Jim DeMint, the president of the Heritage Foundation, former Senator from South Carolina, and James Carville, and Mary Matalin, welcome to both of you? And let's start out with you, Governor Richardson. Let me go to you. You were serving as U.N. Ambassador. The president right after these strikes were announced, ruled out putting U.S. boots on the ground in Syria. But the pressure is building for more military action?
RICHARDSON: Yes, and I think he's signaled that he's ready to use that military action. We can't have boots on the ground, but I think potentially some kind of option like airstrikes against some of those weapons sites to protect the rebels are in the cards, in my view. Now, I think what happened with Israel is, Israel is also sending a signal to Iran, to Hezbollah, but possibly to us too, that the situation right in the Syrian area is getting very, very tense.
But I think in the next few days, my view is that the president will opt towards some kind of limited military option.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator DeMint, is that something he should do?
DEMINT: Well, Israel is acting in self-defense. Clearly Iran -- Iran is shipping more precise guided missiles through Syria. So the less stable Syria is, the more dangerous it is for Israel. I think we've probably stood -- taken too much of a passive, or at least an unclear stance on this for too long. That's created more instability. I think the president needs to make it clear what we will do. And he's already tried to do that with his bright red line, which he hasn't followed through on.
So, I don't know what his steps should be right now. But clear his indecisiveness has destabilized, and probably brought Israel into this.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Clearly also though, Cokie, the public's not rushing...
ROBERTS: Right, and that is -- that is a huge problem. Look, the president doesn't know what to do, and neither does anybody else. And so what you have is a lot of people criticizing the president for doing nothing, and then when you ask them what -- what should happen, they kind of dance all over the place. But, with the public being so completely disillusioned with American wars abroad that have gone on for so long -- you know, these wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost every American family something like $45,000, not to mention, of course, the lives. And it really takes a whole foreign policy option off the table when Americans say that they don't want to have our troops engaged in another war.
And that's a problem because we need to have every, single option available in a very dangerous world.
STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the big questions, Mary Matalin, is how effective actually arming the rebels can be and what kind of consequences that can create if the weapons fall into the wrong hands.
MATALIN: That's right.
So, to echo much of what has been said here, policy ranges from incoherent to feckless. He's redrawn his red lines. He's reversed his opposition to arming the rebels. He doesn't know who they are. We don't have good intelligence because of the effects of the policies, his policies, dismantling our security infrastructure.
Yes, it is difficult to know what to do in a transitioning region. Something we know not to do is what he has done, which is issue these red, bright lines and then, walk back from them.
ROBERTS: It's the parental thing. Every parent...
CARVILLE: I don't normally do that with my politics, but I'm going to play George Will here. And he is -- talking about dithering and he and I don't agree a lot, but we are the (inaudible). And if you're talking about helping these rebels, you've got to understand, this is not Patrick Henry and Benjamin Franklin over there that we're dealing with. And it is not altogether certain that the -- either the worst people in the world are the government and the second worst are the rebels or the first worst is the rebels and the second is the government. But it's not like we have a great choice over there as to what to do.
MATALIN: No, that's true. It's a terrible set of choices. And nobody really does know what to do. But what does seem to be happening is that there's a lot of disillusion with the United States in the Muslim world. And that's a problem.
CARVILLE: It is.
RICHARDSON: What I see, I saw a signal by General Idris, who is the head of the rebels, the military council. And he basically renounced al Qaeda. Now, I know there's questions...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, that clears that up.
MATALIN: But he likes the Taliban just fine.
RICHARDSON: Britain and France are going to start arming the rebels, I think that's a signal that some -- I won't say cover, but it's a move in the direction of NATO and the president moving.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And we're not going to go in alone.
ROBERTS: And refugees. We have got to do a whole lot more -- hundreds of thousands.
DEMINT: The issue here is Iran, and Syria's almost a distraction here. The weapons moving through Syria because it's completely destabilized. We have to focus on how we can demonstrate our support of Israel and continue the pressure on Iran otherwise, we're going to create more problems inside Syria.
CARVILLE: But, senator, I make a point if my geography is correct. For weapons to get from Iran to Syria, they have to go through Iraq.
CARVILLE: Overfly. If we had better allies in Iraq...
ROBERTS: If we had better allies in general -- this president promised us he would reset his relationship with Russia, which could put pressure on Assad and other -- and China. He was going to reset all of our relationships in the world to bring -- to leverage the power to bring peace. None of that has come -- has happened.
Iran is the real issue. Weapons have passed to Hezbollah through Syria to Iran and continue to and will, because we don't follow-up on anything we say we're going to do.
There are not good options, but there are weak promises and invite provocation.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me move on to the broader question, the president's influence in the second term. Facing tough questions at his press conference this week. And James Carville, I want to show you a few headlines. The president seems to be getting it from right, left, and center.
Maureen Dowd in the New York Times "Bottoms Up, Lame Duck."
Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal "Is Obama Already a Lame Duck?
Even The Financial Times, "Barack Obama Captive on Capitol Hill."
We have seen the president's poll numbers drift a little bit below 50 right now. So how does he fight this notion this early in the second term that he's already a lame duck?
CARVILLE: When the Democrats won in 1986, they said that was the end of the Reagan administration. In 1994, the when Republicans took the House and then Clinton was re-elected, said he was not going to get anything done for the rest of his term.
When president Bush lost the House and the Senate in 2006, it was the same thing.
Look, there's not a lot of legislation that's going to happen probably between now and 2016 -- or 2014. The president has enormous influence in a lot of places outside of legislation. And the idea that anybody has as much constitutional power as the president of United States, that somehow is irrelevant in debate I think is carrying things...
STEPHANOPOULOS: And Mary Matalin, he's still far more popular than Republicans in congress.
MATALIN: So what? That's irrelevant. He (inaudible) in six weeks. He's souffled -- he single-handedly wiped out his congressional majority in the last midterm. He set in place Republican dominance at the state level for decades because we picked up so many -- 7,000 legislators and 30 governors, in control of the legislatures in the states, which is the bench -- back bench for rising stars.
And this cycle, he's going to wipe out his senate, if not the majority, certainly, the critical mass of the majority.
ROBERTS: Republicans should have never lost seats in the Senate in the last election and they did. And now, you're having a hard time finding Republicans to even run for the senate in a lot of these democratic seats. It's not a place people want to be these days.
But also, look. James is right. The president -- the power of the presidency, regardless of whom occupies the White House, is enormous. And this question is always asked. And the truth is, the president is a lame duck. The 22nd amendment is a terrible idea. You know? Term limits always create lame duckhood. And everybody in congress knows they'll never run with this guy again.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That does gets to the question of what can get done in the remaining three-and-a-half years of his second term.
And Senator DeMint, let me bring that to you, because it brings up the issue of immigration reform. The president said again yesterday that he believes this can happen this year. But we're seeing conservative opposition, including from your group, the Heritage Foundation. You're going to be coming out with a new study this week that takes on the cost of immigration reform.
Well, the president -- I mean, our country faces very difficult economic and financial problems. But he seems contend to bring up emotional, divisive issues whether it be guns or immigration and start the fight and play the referee.
STEPHANOPOULOS: A lot of Republicans supporting immigration reform, as well.
DEMINT: There are some.
And I think a lot of them are trying to solve a problem. But the study you'll see from Heritage this week presents the staggering costs of another amnesty in our country and the detrimental effects, long-term, that that will happen. There's no reason we can't begin to fix our immigration system so that we won't make this problem worse. But the bill being that's being presented is unfair to those who came here legally. It will cost Americans trillions of dollars. It will make our unlawful immigration system worse.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to bring everybody in -- but let me press you on one question, this question of cost. You believe it will probably cost in excess of $2 trillion, two-and-a-half.
DEMINT: Much more.
STEPHANOPOULOS: ...trillion dollars. But the Congressional Budget Office, the Cato Institute, other Republicans have said, no immigration reform is actually going to increase economic growth, increase wages because it brings more into the workforce. Your response?
DEMINT: Well, CBO said Obamacare wouldn't cost us anything. They're basically puppets of the congress and the assumptions that they put in the bill. Heritage is the only organization that has done an analysis of the cost. Unlawful immigrants make up about 2 percent of our GDP. And they consume most of that. And if you consider all the factors of amnesty and unlawful immigration, the costs will be in the trillions of dollars over the lifetime of these unlawful...
RICHARDSON: Well, you know, I remember, when I was in the House of Representatives, I voted for a 1980s immigration -- 1986, Ronald Reagan gave amnesty to 3 million undocumented workers.
I think, senator, with all due respect, if the Republican Party wants to stay relevant in the electoral college with Hispanic voters, they've got to be moderate on immigration. And I think what is happening today is the senate has started out with a realistic bill. Although, I'm -- you know, as a Hispanic, my beef right now is the path to citizenship. I think it's 13 years. It's excessive.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's like becoming a Jesuit (ph).
RICHARDSON: Like the cost is huge. There's all these trip wires you have to do. So, I'm...
STEPHANOPOULOS: You aren't going to get anything more liberal through the congress, though.
RICHARDSON: No. I realize that, especially when it gets to the House. But my hope is that a good part of the Republican moderate party is moving in the right direction. And I think if Senator DeMint and his organization saw that this is not just an important policy change for the country. And the cost, senator -- you know immigrants contribute to our economy.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But Mary, this does seem to be splitting the Republican Party right now, increasingly.
MATALIN: Right. But that's a false argument that the Hispanic vote is contingent upon a single issue. It was -- for Hispanics here legally, it's the fifth-most important issue.
It is a gateway issue. There needs to be better articulation as Senator DeMint has tried to do and Senator Rubio tried to do. They disagree on the assumptions in your -- the dynamic scoring, they say is absent from your study. But at least we're talking about real measures. We're not talking about the Christmas tree stuff that the president passed so easily, that collage of things that everybody agrees with. It's a real approach with differences in the party.
But if we do this because we think it's politically palatable as opposed to good for the country. And, yes, it does take 13 years. And yes it is as long as it takes to become a Jesuit, I think it would be worth becoming a Jesuit and an American citizen for all of the trip wires in reform.
ROBERTS: Look, it does divide the Republican Party. There's just no question about it. There are people in the party who can do math and who say, you know, this is a huge -- fastest-growing group in the country. And we can't afford to alienate them. And then there are people who say, but wait. I represent a congressional district that is 100 percent Republican. And that if I vote for this bill, I'm going to get in so much trouble in my primary, that I can't vote for the bill.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And James, one of the things you saw this week is even Marco Rubio who is a big proponent of the bill, saying he doesn't think it can pass the House.
CARVILLE: Look, let's go to the raw politics here, let Cato and the CBO fight this out over here. The raw politics over here are this does divide the Republican Party.
I was listening to Rush Limbaugh, all right, and he made the case....
MATALIN: I love that.
CARVILLE: Look, we're Democrats, we listen to everybody.
He said, look -- this is what you hear from a political standpoint. You're going to bring all these people in, you're going to make them legal, you're going to help them do that. And they're not going to vote for you. And you have 4 million people that sit back every election because we're doing this.
So, the Limbaughian -- and this is a lot of Republicans' calculation is you're not going to get credit for this anyway. The Democrats are going to is get the credit. And you're going to have a lot more Democratic voters.
I don't say I agree with that, but that's where the politics hits the ground and there's a lot of opposition in the Republican Party.
DEMINT: Well, conservatives support immigration. And lawful immigration, particularly if it's merit based, is going build our country. Immigrants built our country.
One of the primary reasons we oppose this bill it's going to take away those opportunities that America gives the folks who come here unlawfully. But the way we've calculated the costs, and I've read the study over the weekend, it is -- I don't think anyone can argue with it. If you consider all the factors related to the amnesty -- and believe me, this is comprehensive, and it will have a negative long-term impact on our gross domestic product.
So we just want congress, for once, to count the costs of a bill. They're notorious for underestimating the costs and not understanding the consequences.
RICHARDSON: But senator, how can you say an amnesty after it takes 13 years? The citizen track is very costly. You have to jump through a lot of hoops.
Now, I agree, background checks, make them learn English, make sure that they embrace American values. But you know, to say it's an amnesty -- it's not an amnesty. It's a path to citizenship.
And also, there's legal -- there's legal immigration provisions in this bill. Legal, for thousands of engineers that want to stay here, software engineers that would be able to stay.
ROBERTS: It's no accident that the business community is lobbying like crazy for this bill, that the agricultural community is lobbying like crazy for this...
RICHARDSON: The AFL-CIO is for it, the Chamber is Commerce is for it.
DEMINT: The big ag companies and...
RICHARDSON: The Chamber of Commerce is for it.
RICHARDSON: The AFL-CIO is for it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: A quick break, I'm going to repeat the question. Do you block this legislation this year or not?
DEMINT: Well, it's difficult to -- I think if people read the bill, that it will be blocked because once you get into it, just like Obamacare, it is not what -- the way it's being advertised.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Got to take a quick break.
Warren Buffett up next. The world's best investor breaks in on that record-breaking stock market, Washington dysfunction, and why women are the key to the economy. We're back in just 60 seconds.
STEPHANOPOULOS: After the Dow flirted with 15,000 on Friday, thousands of Warren Buffett's disciples flocked to Omaha for the legendary investors' annual day in the arena. Our chief business and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis spoke with Buffett after all the action. She's here now. Good morning, Rebecca.
REBECCA JARVIS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, George. Good morning. And it may look like a dog and pony show here at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, a 5k race, which is special for this meeting, just took off behind me. But the real reason 40,000 people flock to Omaha every single year, is to hear from Warren Buffett himself on stocks and the economy. And that's where we began when we spoke.
WARREN BUFFETT, CEO, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY: Well, I don't know what the answer is to what the market will run next week or next month or next year. But the economy has generally gotten better over the last four years. The stock market got very depressed. I wrote about it in late 2008. And said stocks are very cheap. They're not as cheap now. They don't look overpriced. They certainly look more attractive than fixed-income investments to me.
But I have no idea what the stock market will do next week or next month or next year.
JARVIS: What about your businesses? What are the most encouraging signs that you see?
BUFFETT: Well, we see a very gradual improvement. But we've been seeing that for about four years. On balance, they're moving forward, but not at a rapid clip.
JARVIS: What would it take to get a more rapid clip?
BUFFETT: I think to some extent, it takes time. We've had a lot of fiscal stimulus. We've had an extraordinary amount of monetary stimulus. And I think those were the right things to be doing considering the incredible situation that existed in 2008.
I generally approve of what the latter stages of it hit, what the Bush administration did. I approve of what the Obama administration has done.
Nothing is perfect, but we had some huge problems in 2008. And our country is doing reasonably well coming out of that. It's a lot slower than people would like, but it was a lot bigger problem than any of us had ever seen.
JARVIS: When you say nothing is perfect, what do you make of the dysfunction in Washington right now? Do you think this could be a lame duck presidency?
BUFFETT: Well, it's tough to watch what happens in Washington. And it's gotten more and more partisan.
But now, so many elections are determined by the primaries and not the November elections, that it does tend to push both sides to the extremes and to cause them to dig in and feel that they can't bend from positions because they'll get primaried.
JARVIS: One of the issues is immigration reform. And your son, Howard, has advocated on behalf of immigration reform. How critical do you believe a new policy is to our economy?
BUFFETT: Well, I think we need to have a policy. I mean, we've been bouncing this one around for a considerable period of time. And I think we should have a more logical immigration policy, too.
JARVIS: What would that be like?
BUFFETT: It would mean we would attract a lot of people. We would attract the people we want to attract, in particular. I mean, I think in terms of educating tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of people, who we enhance their talents and they're not stick around here. I would love to see that change.
JARVIS: You are say take the people who come into this country for education and make them citizens?
BUFFETT: And certainly offer them the chance to become citizens, sure.
JARVIS: You have taken up the chance to become a member of the Twittersphere.
BUFFETT: Here we go.
JARVIS: Tweet away.
BUFFETT: OK. "Warren is in the house."
JARVIS: Which is a surprise to a lot of people, because you held out for so long.
BUFFETT: You're still looking at a technophobe who is kind of pathetic in that -- in all things news, but I felt it was giving additional distribution, particularly to an article. I wanted that wide distribution about women. So I joined Twitter. And it seems to be working.
JARVIS (voice-over): In the article in Fortune magazine, Buffett called women the key to America's prosperity writing "we've seen what we can be accomplished when we use 50 percent of our human capacity. If you visualize what 100 percent can do, you'll join me as an unbridled optimist about America's future."
(on camera): You're bullish on women.
BUFFETT: I think that -- I think we've made a terrible mistake in this country and a lot of other countries, too, but in not using all of our talent. I mean, if we said we were only going to let people, men 5'10", or below engage, in three or four occupations, it would be regarded as totally nutty. And for decades, centuries, we relegated women to just a few occupations. And we did not fully use the talent that's available. And we're making progress, but we have got a ways to go.
JARVIS: Beyond rhetoric, what can be done to change that?
BUFFETT: I think there should be more pushing forward, in terms of both the outer structure, but then I was also encouraging women not to hold themselves back.
JARVIS: Three of the 13 members of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway board are women. That's a little bit better than the national average. However, there will be a man eventually replacing Warren Buffett. He says he has no plans to step down just yet, but the board and he are firmly aligned on one candidate, and it's not a woman -- George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, Rebecca, thanks very much.
More roundtable coming up. We'll get their take on the first showdown of 2016. Those eye-popping poll numbers for Hillary. And the first gay player in the NBA, what will it mean for professional sports?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senate rates the national spotlight this week. Up in Massachusetts, the special election to fill Secretary of State John Kerry's seat will pit veteran Democratic Congressman Ed Markey against a political newbie, Navy SEAL turned businessman Gabriel Gomez.
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GABRIEL GOMEZ, REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR MA SENATE: I want to take you back in time. The year was 1976. The average price of a new home was $44,000. Me? I was just playing little league baseball. And that was when Ed Markey first got elected to congress.
REP. ED MARKEY, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: This campaign is about standing up to the special interests and the extreme Tea Party Republicans who want to stop progress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Race to watch. And we're going to be right back with more roundtable.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI: I pray that Hillary Clinton decides to run for President of the United States. She will be the most qualified person to enter the White House in modern history.
HENRY KISSINGER: At least four Secretaries of State became president. And that sort of started focusing my mind. I want to tell Hillary when she misses the office, it might be hope for a fulfilling life afterwards.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: A little bipartisan encouragement there for Hillary Clinton as she ponders a run in 2016, still 3-1/2 years away. Let's bring this all back to our roundtable. I want to talk about 2016 in a little bit, but first another big item on the agenda still this year.
And that is gun control, the background check legislation. You saw the NRA meeting this weekend, up to five million members. Wayne LaPierre saying this is a once in a generation fight. But some of those senators against the background check, also under pressure from the Newtown families. Here's Senator Kelly Ayotte.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERICA LAFFERTY, DAUGHTER OF NEWTOWN VICTIM: You had mentioned that day the burden on owners of gun stores. I'm just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in the halls of her elementary school isn't as important as that?
SENATOR KELLY AYOTTE: I'm obviously so sorry as is everyone here, no matter what are views are, for what you have been through. The legislation that was on the floor and the background check system, as I understand the facts, certainly you know, wouldn't have solved it ...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Cokie Roberts, the president and Senator Joe Manchin who supported the background checks bill and NRA Member vowing to bring it back. Will it come up for another vote in the Senate?
ROBERTS: I doubt it. And even if it does, I don't think they can do it this year. But I think that the pressure is changing. And what you see in Senator Ayotte's polls and others of the members who voted against the background checks, is that they have come down in the polls.
And Senator Pat Toomey, the senator who went with Manchin, the Republic from Pennsylvania who joined with Manchin on those background checks, his approval ratings have come up and particularly on that gun issue. So it's possible that the politics of this are changing. You've got these organizations, Michael Bloomberg has got these Mayors Against Gun Violence, he's spending a lot of money on it. And the dynamics might start to change on them.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You think so?
MATALIN: No absolutely. Yes here's what changed, it exploded the NRA membership, it exploded gun purchasing. I became a lifetime member this week. Bought a pistol, can't find ammo anywhere --
MATALIN: This is, the intensity gap, I did manage to find some because I live in --
MATALIN: The intensity gap for the people who support the Second Amendment, this is bigger than guns. And the despicable exploition (sic) of the grief of these victims with legislation that would not have stopped or thwarted any of these tragedies is a real commentary on our --
ROBERTS: I don't think they feel exploited a bit. They're the people who are in there, doing it themselves. And I've talked to several of them, this has become a very passionate issue right now.
CARVILLE: This thing is going to come up for a vote between now and election 2014.
ROBERTS: That's right.
CARVILLE: And it's going, and they're going to change something to somebody's fears and it's going to get out of the Senate and they're going to have to vote on it in the House.
ROBERTS: I think that's right.
CARVILLE: It's just going to happen --
CARVILLE: And the Democrats are going to make it happen because they got a 90 percent issue here --
CARVILLE: And they're not going to give it up nor should they.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You think some of the Democrats who voted against it in (inaudible) and Arkansas are going to be facing --
CARVILLE: I do. I think they're --
MATALIN: I think they're on the wrong side of history.
CARVILLE: I think they're going to go and they're going to come with some kind of a thing says, oh now I feel better because the Second Amendment right is more protected. They'll make some change in the legislation and I think you're going to find a couple Republicans. I think there are more people that voted for this that are happy about their vote than there are people that voted against this that are happy about their vote. There's going to be another vote.
MATALIN: Just, can I just point out, it was the Democrats that defeated this.
ROBERTS: That's true, absolutely right.
CARVILLE: Four Democrats vote for it and 43 Republicans. It's all the Democrats fault. That's 4 to 43.
DEMINT: George all Americans want to do more to protect children, protect all of our citizens. The frustration is Congress always responds to some tragedy with legislation that has nothing to do with the tragedy. And so Republicans are in a difficult position. The public wants to do something. The president is not going to do anything substantive. And the fact is Congress can't solve this problem from Washington.
In a lot of states, a lot of communities, a lot of schools individually are doing more and more to protect people. And that's where we need to provide the resources.
ROBERTS: But this gets back to George's first question though Bill, I'd like to hear what you say about it as a former member of Congress. I mean this is a place where the president didn't seem to lift a finger. And call those Democrats and say to them, come on, I need your vote on this.
RICHARDSON: Well James will remember, we lost the House of Representatives in the Clinton years over a gun vote.
ROBERTS: I disagree.
RICHARDSON: I'm a Westerner. Second Amendment. But I think what eventually will happen, and again I'll agree with James. There will be a vote, later in the year, early next year that involves, I think background checks, gun shows, mental health, even school enhancement of security.
STEPHANOPOULOS: More security at schools, yeah.
RICHARDSON: That somehow will happen. That is my sense. Because this is a very powerful issue. Now the most effective and strongest lobby I've ever seen and I think will always be is the NRA. So this is going to be a Titanic.
ROBERTS: I think the AARP can give them a run for their money.
CARVILLE: One of the reasons we lost in '94 is the gun vote.
ROBERTS: I'd say health care.
CARVILLE: Probably other reasons. But at any rate, I agree with James (inaudible). I come back it whether it does any good or not, whether it's just a stylish (ph) vote or something like that. People want it and people are going to get this vote. There's going to be gun legislation out of the Senate --
ROBERTS: I think we should move on to the Third Amendment. I actually, we never talk about the Third Amendment. We talk about the First and the Second.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Remind us all.
ROBERTS: It's not quartering any troops in your house. I really don't want them quartered in my house. I'm all for supporting them but not quartering them here.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The debate began here. The debate is also continuing on 2016, it has already begun. Senator in your state this Friday night was the epicenter of politics. You had dual, you had a showdown across town, Senator Joe Biden on the, for the Democrats, Senator Ted Cruz, sorry Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Ted Cruz for the Republicans. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: As soon as I show up in South Carolina they'll be Washington press coming down saying is Biden getting ready.
SENATOR TED CRUZ: So Vice President Joe Biden's in town. You don't even need a punch line. You just say that and people laugh.
BIDEN: Where are these guys from? Where do they think a 75-year-old is going to get another $6,500 to get the same health care they have now?
CRUZ: He told everyone if anybody is attacking your home, it's attacking your family. Just go outside with a double barreled shotgun and fire both barrels in the air. Now that's great advice if it so happens you're being attacked by a flock of geese.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Cruz had a lot of red meat for the crowd. They were laughing, they were really enjoying it. And this came amid some stories this week that he actually is taking a real look at the presidential race in 2016.
DEMINT: I think he's keeping his focus on the Senate. The fact that he shows up in South Carolina was really just a favor to me and the Republican Party. But he is a great speaker.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That or the primary it makes no difference.
DEMINT: No people love Ted Cruz because he's taken on his own party, his own leadership, he's taken on the other party. He's trying to rock the boat to get us to stop moving towards this cliff we're heading for as a country. I've been in about 25 cities in the last few months. All you have to do is mention Ted Cruz and people get on their feet.
CARVILLE: I think he is the most talented and fearless Republican politician I've seen in the last 30 years. I further think that he's going to run for president and he is going to create something. I'm not sitting here saying he's going to win, and I think Senator DeMint is right. I've listened to excerpts of his speech in South Carolina, he touches every button. And this guy has no fear. He just keeps plowing ahead. And he is going to be something to watch.
And a lot of Republicans feel this way George. And you hear this a lot. If we only got someone who is articulate and was for what we were for, we'd win elections. We get this John McCain's and these Mitt Romney's and these squishy guys that can't do anything. Well there's one thing this guy's not, he ain't squishy. Not in the least.
MATALIN: We are anti-squishy men.
MATALIN: We like really hard men. What Ted Cruz does is he joins the ranks that were depleted when Senator DeMint who is the leader in the Senator on this reform and free markets, constitutionalism, and each of the addition of Cruz and Rubio and Lee and Tim Scott, are magnifying for us. They're geometric, not arithmetic additions. And they are the future of the Republican Party.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Mary it does seem like this is a race and it makes sense. Wide open on the Republican side this time. No heir apparent. And this will be at a time when the Democrats are going for essentially a third term. So everyone sees this as their shot.
MATALIN: Right I mean you see Rand Paul also in New Hampshire or Iowa. And wouldn't it be interesting if you had a primary that's Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz going against each other?
Get them all in. Let's have big smart debate, we can do it.
CARVILLE: And I'm telling you, get in there, Ted Cruz is going to each their lunch.
MATALIN: Rand is good, Rubio is good.
CARVILLE: I'm saying he's a fierce --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Basically you're rooting for Ted Cruz.
CARVILLE: No I'm not rooting, I mean I'm really sincere here. Watch him. He does thing, I mean when he started talking about William Travers in South Carolina and the Alamo. This is a guy, and you go, this guy is something. I don't agree with him, I think he's out there. But I'm telling you he's more talented than all of these other guys.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me turn this back to the Democratic side. As we show Joe Biden. Also this week a new (inaudible) Poll came out. Showed Hillary Clinton's very early strength right now. Potential Democratic field, 65 percent for Hillary Clinton, 13 percent for Biden, Andrew Cuomo at 4 percent, governor of New York.
But if Hillary Clinton does not run, Biden jumps up to the top, 45, 15, Deval Patrick in at 6. Governor Richardson, you're one of the few people I've talked to who believes that you could actually see a faceoff between Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. That they both might run.
RICHARDSON: Yeah I think Joe Biden would not defer. I think he would run. Hillary Clinton would be formidable, no question about it. But I've known Biden over the years. He is somebody who's always wanted to be present. He's got the eye of the tiger. I mean he's going to all of these events. You've seen in his speeches, I was with him Friday morning, I think there could be a faceoff, but obviously Secretary Clinton is a formidable candidate who not only is appealing to the Democratic base, but is appealing to a Republican base who acknowledges the great work she did as Secretary of State.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Republican base supporting Hillary Clinton?
DEMINT: I don't think so George. You said it right, I mean she represents a third term of continuing in the same direction. I think Republicans don't need to focus on who's running right now, but what are the ideas that can inspire the American people.
We ran the last campaign on what was wrong with Obama. But it's time for Republicans, particularly conservatives that I represent, to show an inspiring winsome message to the American people. That's my priority at the Heritage Foundation, is not only talk about the right ideas, but to figure out how to connect with the American people.
ROBERTS: I think that third term notion is really strong. And I think it's a tough one for the Democrats. First of all we don't generally give people third terms.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you think it would deter Secretary Clinton --
ROBERTS: I don't think it will deter Vice President Biden. I think Secretary Clinton probably has a variety of things she's thinking about before she makes the decision to run. But my husband has convinced me that the historical imperative will make her run.
That she just, that this notion of being the first woman president, and of course everybody is coming to her and saying that. That you need to be the first woman president. You're the one who can do it. And that becomes very, very hard to resist.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That makes sense to me Mary. Do you agree?
MATALIN: No the third term issue is real. Ironically Hillary is to 2016 as George H.W. Bush was to 1992 when we got our clocks cleaned by the Clintons. And I think the reason she's been so successful as a woman will talk her out of it. She knows she can make an impact without it.
ROBERTS: She can make a huge impact.
MATALIN: Women think different and the historical paradigm goes to the way men think. My husband disagrees with that.
CARVILLE: Yeah I think it's more like 1988, when he went for the third term. But look, I have never, (inaudible) I've not seen one Democrat in the country that does not want her to run. And literally now they know that I would be for her and they come up to me and say, God please, please, tell her to run. Look at Nancy Pelosi, look at everything.
It has never been a front runner, a non-incumbent front runner like her since probably Eisenhower. And both parties wanted Eisenhower to run. And then once he said he was running as a Republican, it was all over. I've never seen, I can't tell you, if she ran, who would (inaudible) she is the most prohibitive front runner I have ever seen (inaudible).
STEPHANOPOULOS: Right now that's true although she becomes a much more partisan figure if she chooses to run.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's move on, just a couple minutes left. Some history made this week in the NBA, Jason Collins becomes the first gay player in a major men's sport. I spoke to him right after the announcement Monday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON COLLINS, NBA: I think the country is ready for supporting an openly gay basketball player and --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Can you believe it hasn't happened before you?
COLLINS: That's kind of mind boggling. I never set out to be the first. And it's, obviously you're sort of waiting around for somebody else to raise their hand. And I'm ready to raise my hand but you still look around like, okay, come on guys.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know he said a lot of surprising things in that interview. James Carville he said his twin brother didn't know he was gay. Said his fiancee he was engaged to for eight years didn't know he was gay. He also said he didn't know of any other gay players in the NBA now. But do you think this is going to create some kind of opening where you see a rush of people coming out? Or just people going on and living their lives?
CARVILLE: There might be one or two. You know he was like the perfect guy to come out. He was a Stanford graduate, he was kind of, if you wanted someone to come out, he would be. He's been in the league a long time, I think he's kind of respected. I think the interesting thing, in the late '70s there was a baseball player named Glen Burke who tried to come out and no one would cover him. He was trying to tell everybody and nobody -- but I think this guy handled this thing beautifully. And I think he was the right person at the right time. And you were the right person. It was a good interview and it was good.
RICHARDSON: I think it will create a domino effect but I don't think it will be a lot of news when there's yet to be a male tennis player that comes out. Major league baseball player, although Glenn Burke --
RICHARDSON: I think if more in basketball and football come out, it won't be covered like this case. But I think it will create a domino effect.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That's kind of the hope though.
ROBERTS: The politics of it though have been fascinating. I mean President Obama in the press conference last week, he had left the stage and then came back to talk about this. And this was the thing he was most energized about. He clearly wanted to talk about Jason Collins and you know the Democrats have really gone out of their way here to embrace the gay community. And a lot of what's going on is shoring up that youth vote.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And I saw that Jason Collins is actually going to appear at a fund raiser with the first lady.
MATALIN: It's all political. I grew up with the Bears and the Black Hawks and the Bulls, the last bastion of political correctness-free fun and entertainment. Now the liberals have politically invaded the last bastion of politics-free zone. We don't care who, as a sports fan, we don't care who you make out with, we just want you to make your shot. Make your shot.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Amen to that.
DEMINT: I'm just grateful we live in a country where people can love who they want and live the way they want.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Move on. Okay.
CARVILLE: Amen brother, amen.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you all, that was a great roundtable. That's for contributing. And Governor Richardson is sticking around to answer your questions on our web extra. Check it out at abcnews.com/thisweek. Our Sunday Spotlight is next, Whoopi Goldberg is next.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And Whoopi Goldberg is up next on the Sunday Spotlight shining a light on Moms Mabley. First we have the Sunday Funnies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SETH MEYERS, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: Investigators are saying on the night Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's picture was first made public, one of his college friends who was arrested on Wednesday texted Dzhokhar joking that he looked like one of the suspects. You know when they say if you see something, say something, they don't mean to the terrorist.
CONAN O'BRIEN, LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN: Yesterday President Obama said that the prison at Guantanamo needs to be closed. That's what he said, yeah. Yeah. Yeah to make sure it closes quickly, they're turning it into a Blockbuster Video.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Our Sunday Spotlight this week signs on Whoopi Goldberg. This time for what the Oscar winner and host of The View has done behind the camera. She's the driving force behind a fascinating new documentary that brings a comedy pioneer back to life.
Some of you might remember seeing Moms Mabley once or twice on TV. Whoopi's film "I Got Something to Tell You," makes it clear that those appearances were just a capstone to a trailblazing career.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: She was the first and only woman stand up for 40 years, black or white. She was the only one doing it. Most of us discovered Moms in the '60s, you know from the records and from here appearances on the different shows that used to be on.
"THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR" 1967: I'd like to introduce to you now a lady who's been one of the most popular comediennes in the United States for over 40 years.
GOLDBERG: It was like, oh, look at this black woman on the television. Hey everybody, there's somebody black on.
"THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR" 1967: Ladies and gentleman meet Moms Mabley.
GOLDBERG: An entire two generations had come and didn't know who she was and her comedy was funny to me. So I thought, well the best thing to do is make a documentary. What I discovered, which I was thrilled about, was that the comedy holds up. It's still funny."
MOMS MABLEY: Oh let me put my arms around you son. Young and old. You know Mom don't like old men. Anytime you see me with my arms around a old man, I'm holding him for the police.
GOLDBERG: She's wearing you know, what we would call a Gilligan's hat and a housecoat, which no one wears anymore. And socks or stockings that were mismatched and men's slippers and no teeth. You know there were no teeth in her mouth.
But she was able to talk about, at least, in the '60s and the late '50s, about the issues that were pertinent to America. Being segregation and how to change it and how Black youth should be. In a way that you don't even realize that's what she's doing. So she was putting a lot out there in a subtle, smart way.
I look back on it now and I go wow! That's pretty ballsy what she's doing. It was a surprise that so many people felt so deeply about Moms and how she's sort of influenced comedy because without her, so many of us, Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, would not do the kind of work we do.
This is the woman whose name deserves to be not forgotten again. She moves with me. She's in me when I think about her. And she kept me up for a good five, six months saying you have to make this about me. You have to tell them who I am. When we showed it, we showed it on the big screen and in the back of my head I could hear her saying, well it's about time Whoopi, it's about time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: It is about time. "I've Got Something to Tell You" will air on HBO. And now we honor our fellow Americans who serve and sacrifice. This week the Pentagon released the names of seven service members killed in Afghanistan and Kuwait.
That is all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us and Happy Easter to my fellow Orthodox Christians. Check out "World News" with David Muir tonight and I'll see you tomorrow on "GMA."