Roundtable II: Filibuster Fight

Sen. Ron Johnson, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, George Will, Paul Krugman, Julianna Goldman
17:28 | 03/10/13

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Transcript for Roundtable II: Filibuster Fight
Back now, more roundtable now and we'll reintroduce everyone, george will is here as always, paul krugman of "the new york times" and princeton, julianna goldman of bloomberg news and ron johnson and debbie wasserman shultz and you heard governor bush. He said it wasn't a political week, wasn't all that rocky but is encouraged on immigration reform. Maybe, in part because he clarify the argument. Everett dirksen, the leader of senate republicans for many years said, "i have my principles and one of mine is flexibility," and mr. Bush is flexible on treating the 11 million who are here already, the immigration debate today is occurring after two years in which net immigration from mexico which is the most important source of immigrants has been approximately zero. Most important capital is not washington, d.C., It's mexico city where they have their economy doing "a," better than ours and "b," being a magnet to help people stay there, so what we're really arguing about is what to do about the 11 million illegal immigrants who are here already, and I think what we learned this week was any plan that does not envision as an end point citizenship for those is not going to work. The bottom line, that's right. So I just learned something very important from the interview about jeb bush which is he's one of those people who says frankly just before he delivers a big whopper. So that, frankly, to deal with the deficit by economic growth. Come on. He has no plan. You know, anyway, that was impressive. It's an object lesson. I mean, he's just shown us the perils of political pandering. He wrote a book for the immigration debate the way it was a few months ago and got caught flat-footed by the way it shifted, but, no, this is moving in a favorable direction. We seem to be moving toward some -- he felt the pressure to move toward citizenship. That's right. Actually I have to say, this is one of these things that has been an amazing positive development. Most of these other things -- i don't think we're getting anywhere on the budget, but immigration, I think we are. Do you agree with that? No, I think the movement on the immigration front is positive and I think the bottom line is whatever we do we can't create incentives for more immigration. I think that's the bottom line. But I want to talk a little about growth because he mentioned that, as well. Let me defend it. for one second -- but I got to get back to growth. Okay, go ahead. Having a bit of experience with governor bush being former governor of te, I think we saw quite clearly that what he did this week was get caught in a tangled web of his own evolving ambition. I'm not sure why you have to write a book on your views on immigration reform to conclude that we need legal immigration to be more cost effective and more incentive than illegal immigration. I meaning, at the end of the day, we do have an opportunity for progress. We have an opportunity for progress because president obama got 71% of the hispanic vote in this country, and we have for a long time needed to reach consensus on comprehensive immigration reform, have undocumented immigrants go to the back of the line, pay taxes, pay back taxes and make sure that we recognize that they are part of the backbone of our economy. And this is why -- a bipartisan group in the senate is working to come up with a plan, about eight senators working on it. The white house encouraged by this, as well. Well, look, with jeb bush and one of the reasons you did see the brouhaha this week is because the republican party, whether he decides to run in 2016 or not, is looking to him for leadership on the issue, and to the point when you asked him about what senator lindsey graham said, you know, splitting hairs over a legal pathway, pathway to legalization or a pathway to citizenship, that muddles the message for republicans and muddles policy and it sends a mixed message to hispanics who republicans are trying to court, as well. You know, the white house does see progress, but at the same time the president met this week with religious leaders around immigration, and he told them that the congress is unlikely -- the senate is unlikely to meet the march deadline and unlikely to come forward. In april. You said it's unclear and it is unclear whether jeb bush is going to run in 2016. Pretty clear after this week, though, that rand paul, senator rand paul is going tol run in 2016. Had that 13-hour filibuster. The point he was focusing on at first was he wanted the president to clarify the authority he had to use a drone against americans, american citizens on american soil. Finally got a no from eric holder. At the end of the day we had eric holder writing towards the middle of the debate. "It's come to my attention that additional question. Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an american not engaged in combat on american soil." The answer to that is no." Sincerely, eric h. Holder. This filibuster became more about that. It started about drones, but it really went on to a re-examination of bush-era foreign policy and which necessarily means executive discretion, and it went on there to a general critique about domestic policy, as well. Revival from the new guys in the senate one of which is sitting here, cruz of texas and lee of utah and lake of arizona and all the rest who are rediscovering the roots of modern conservatism, which were in the critique of executive power under franklin roosevelt and then lyndon johnson. Traditional conservatism goes RIGHT BACK TO THE '30s WHEN Modern conservatism was born in reaction against the new deal has been congressionally oriented and a deep suspicion going back as far as the american revolution against executive prerogatives and george iii, deep suspicion of executive power generally. But it did reveal a big split right now inside the the republican party. Absolutely. You saw LINDSEY GRAHAM AND john McCain. I want to show a little bit of that. One exchange they had where rand paul was talking about the possibility that a president might have, for instance, taken out jane fonda. No one will ever forget jane fonda swiveling around in north vietnamese armored guns and it was despicable. That's one thing if you want to try her for treason but are you going to just drop a drone hellfire missile on jane fonda. To somehow allege or infer that the president of the united states is going to kill somebody like jane fonda or someone who disagrees with the policies is a stretch of imagination, which is, frankly, ridiculous. Senator johnson, we also saw senator graham go so far as to say he didn't remember a lot of colleagues raise the questions about the drone policy under president bush. I don't think I want to get in the middle of that. George is right. An argument about due process, presidential power. You did join the filibuster. Sure, because I think senator paul had the right to have a vote or get that question answered. It was amazing it went on for 13 hours, but, you know, what also is the heart of this drone activity, this administration has only captured one terrorist, detained them and tried to get information out of them. If we're going to win this war against islamic terrorism -- I don't think that's true. There's basically been one high-value individual who's been captured and detained to get information -- there was just another one this week. Yeah, but it's been very -- basically the -- basically the process has been using the drones and killing terrorists when what we should be doing is a robust intelligence capability of actually capturing and detaining, but they don't they don't do that because they want to close down guantanamo. By the way, I've been there, it's a first class facility. We really need to capture people and we need to gain intelligence. Come on. We brought osama bin laden to justice. We have -- the spokesperson for al qaeda, his son-in-law in custody this week, with a 27-page statement. We've decimated the ranks of al qaeda. We've made them essentially ineffective in the sense that they aren't in a position to be able to wreak the kind of 9/11 havoc that was their hallmark president -- just before THE MID-19 -- MID-2000s. We've got to make sure that we strike a balance. I'm a legislator, and i jealously guard the legislative -- the legislature's prerogative but it's always been clear the obama administration's position has been that you cannot pursue a noncombatant american on american soil that was -- the definition of what is a combatant is at that time and created some questions among liberals. Yeah. Who wish the administration could be more transparent. That's right. There's a lot -- it weird way to start the debate I mean specifically about drones and on american soil. I mean, does that mean it's okay to kill me with a drone while I'm visiting paris or it's okay to kill me in the united states as long as it's a sniper but not a drone. It was a peculiar way to phrase the question. But, yeah, I mean democrats are very much -- I think many of them are very uneasy. They really don't like this sort of bush-created weird, large discretionary power on the part of the president to go after people without any kind of the formal -- you know, any of the formal machinery that we normally associate with war. It's a difficult world out there but a lot of liberals have some sympathy with the question. But I think -- can I just say i think it's a very, very strange position and let me caricature it. That it's bad for the president to kill people with drones. He should waterboard them insteads? That suggests that a part of that filibuster have an odd notion of what is right and wrong in presidential policy. The white house makes the argument that they have actually sharply constrained the president's power here. They just can't talk about it and struggling to figure out what they can say. They are struggling and this week not only exposes fissures in the party but the president's party as well and it is the canary in the coal mine that he will find from groups like the a krchcr and the white house is trying to figure out how they are goi to answer some of these questions and trying to balance greater transparency and you can expect to hear about the president about this because he is a constitutional law professor and he does want to make sure there are adequate checks on presidential powt just for himself, but for his -- you're right. Let me bring up something completely different than this subject, which is that I think what was great about what rand paul did was that we actually had some debate. I mean -- real filibuster. We can all agree. In the house of representatives we are paralyzed by time -- all that. Speeches. No, that's not false. The reality is all we ever do on -- trust me, it's the senate that is dysfunctional. The process doesn't allow us to have debate. The late murray kempton said the similarity between american politics and political wrestling is the absence of honest passion. And what you saw in rand paul was honest passion, and it stood out from all, as you say -- who made the point this -- he is capturing -- part of the reason he'll have energy if he does indeed run for president is he's capturing this libertarian moment which does transcend party lines in some way. It does. It goes to the decriminalization of marijuana and same-sex marriage and that the government is monitoring us and regulating us too much. And that is a great debate. You know, when people are responding to, you know, liberty and freedom and, you know, the protections of our constitution and of our amendments and fifth amendment, I think that's a very good thing for our democracy. One other debate is being sparked by sheryl sandberg, the coo of facebook. She's got a new book called "lean in: Women, work and the will to lead." I guess it's out tomorrow but it's already made the cover of "time" magazine and captures some of the debate, the flavor so far. Don't hate her because she's successful. Sheryl sandberg will be on "gma" tomorrow, on "60 minutes" tonight talking about her ideas. They start leaning back. They say, oh, I'm busy, I want to have a child one day. I couldn't possibly take on any more. I'm still learning on my current job. Plenty of women are as ambitious as men, but I am saying, and i want to say it unequivocally and unapologetically, that the data is clear that when it comes to ambition to lead, to be the leader of whatever you're doing, men/boys outnumber girls and women. And that is what is setting off people already. Some of the headlines and I want to go to you congresswoman shultz. Pompom girl for feminism. Lean in campaign holds little for most women. Forbes, leaning in doesn't fix what's actually broken for working women. She actually asked you to give your lean in story. And I proudly did so and just look at the reaction to what sheryl sandberg's book has done. It's evidence of how it is so hard for women to wear our ambition on our sleeves, to pursue our dreams, to believe that we can reach the top of any profession and that we should always shoot for the stars. That's how my parents raised me to believe that I could grow up and be anything I wanted to be heryl sandberg has done for little girls, my two daughters and children across -- little girls across america is written a book, her manifesto that says it is okay to be ambitious. It's okay to want to have it all. That balance is important, but that there is nothing wrong with trying to have a full professional life and be a leader and succeed as a woman and also having a full family life. You don't have to choose. It can be both and -- but some of her critics, julianna goldman, anne-marie slaughter of "the new york times" book review suggests that she seems to be underemphasizing the kind oreal constraints women feel inside the workplace, institutional constraints. 2011 when sheryl sandberg gave the commencement address at barnhardt college, my alma mater a bunch of my girlfriends were days running an e-mail chain how empowering the message is. I'm not married but I think about my career and I think about how someday I do want to strike that balance, and so it's so important right now to be able to have role models, women having this discussion mike sheryl sandberg and like anne-marie slaughter so we can think about how we'll make choices. I take it there's been a lot of resonance about this phrase, "don't leave before you leave, stake yourself preemptively -- did that strike a chord with you? I think about last may getting a call from the white house saying, okay, in 24 hours you're going to go on a secret trip to afghanistan. If I had a family, how would i be dealing with that? How am I going to be able to have this career, pursue this path and want that someday, and it doesn't mean that I can't be doing that now. I deal with that every day. I have three kids, twin 13-year-olds and a 9-year-old, i have a husband who is an amazing dad, who understands that equal parenting is important. He has an employer, george, that understands that making sure that he is able to have a balanced family life and be there as a professional is important, and those are all -- it is a team effort through employers, through parenting, through making sure that our educational process encourages girls as equally as boys and through girls having role models like sheryl sandberg who tell them, it is okay to be ambitious and you should go for it when you can where do you stand in this, george? Sheryl sandberg says there's an ambition gap and sounds like professor henry higgins, why can't a woman be more like a man. Maybe men should be more like women like they should be more your like husband. My four biggest achievements in life are named john, jeff, david and victoria. They're children, and I think we all feel the same way and when anne-marie slaughter causes a huge national uproar with an article in I guess "atlantic" saying that women can't have it all after all, I have news for her, no one can have it all. You know, I just think, you know, the reaction is, people are saying -- I have read the book but people are saying sheryl sandberg is not talking enough about -- not talking about the problems. Well, you know, what are you asking her for? She's write a book that is making the point that there is this -- there is -- that women, some women who could be doing much more lean back, don't do enough. She's not talking about the problems of every woman. That's okay. I mean, apparently it's a really powerful book for those who found the message in it. We're asking -- this in itself is telling us about how to have women as a full part of our society. It means we need to make sure for women in every walk of life, they have an opportunity to succeed and to achieve their dreams, and it isn't only -- i don't think sheryl's book is only written for wealthy women of privilege. It's written for all girls and all women who have big dreams, who we should encourage to dream big dreams, and we should help make sure that the path for their ability to succeed. Any argument there? No, listen, it's a tough balance. I've been surrounded by strong, capable women, my mother, my wife, people that -- women i work with. It's a tough job, and it's great that we have wonderful examples. The power of example is great. No question. In fact, we'll be hearing a lot more from her, for example. Thank you all for a terrific roundtable, and congresswoman wasserman shultz is going to stick around and answer your questions on today's web. Check it out on abcnews.Com/thisweek.

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

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