'This Week' Transcript: The Battle Against ISIS

The transcript for 'This Week' on February 15, 2015

ByABC News
February 15, 2015, 10:17 AM

— -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Starting right now on ABC THIS WEEK, breaking news -- terror in Denmark. A suspect killed in a shootout overnight.

Was a cartoonist on al Qaeda's hit list the terror target?

ISIS threat -- as President Obama makes his case for war, Martha Raddatz is on the ground asking why this enemy is so hard to defeat.

Plus, Hawk Eye hello -- Vice President Biden in Iowa. What he's saying now that's turning heads.

And Jon Stewart's signoff -- why he's had such an impact and who will replace him.



I'm Martha Raddatz in Amman, Jordan.

All week, the world has been focused on this region and the threat posed by the terror group, ISIS, a threat that has been called the greatest since 9/11.

We've been faced with several stark reminders of ISIS brutality this week, beginning with the death of American Kayla Mueller, who died while being held hostage by ISIS.

Then Friday, a brazen attack by the jihadist group on an Iraqi air base with U.S. marines inside.

And just this weekend, ISIS releasing another haunting videotape that we won't air, this one purporting to show captured Kurdish forces being paraded through the streets in cages.

Back home, the president now asking Congress to authorize more military action to defeat the group.

But why is this threat so hard to contain?

We've been reporting from around the region, from Iran, to borders of Iraq and Syria all week, searching for answers.

But first, we have breaking news on the terror front. A suspected gunman is dead in Copenhagen. Police say the man is the prime suspect behind two attacks that left two people dead and five police officers wounded.

Chief foreign correspondent, Terry Moran, is in Copenhagen with the very latest -- good morning Terry.


Today, it is Copenhagen's turn to reckon with the aftermath of terror.

We are here at the site of the first of the first of the attacks yesterday afternoon, right back there. You can see the bullet-riddled glass, the cafe where this began. Danish security had been on high alert. But this attack came without warning. Its apparent targets, however, were grimly familiar -- a cartoonist and a synagogue.


MORAN (voice-over): For hours, this city was gripped by terror. It began here at around 4:00 Saturday afternoon at this Copenhagen cafe, the first target. A gunman opening fire, firing 40 rounds. Police on the scene firing back.

(on camera): Inside, a panel discussion on art, blasphemy and freedom of expression.

Listen as the horror unfolds.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why do we do things but when we...


MORAN: The host, Lars Vilks, he's a Swedish cartoonist and he's on an al Qaeda hit list for drawing the Prophet Muhammad.

Vilks, whose bodyguards rushed him into the cafe's kitchen, survived. But a 55-year-old man attending the event was killed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean I'm not sure how many shots but I'd say (INAUDIBLE) 20 or 30 shots (INAUDIBLE) and people panicked, of course, and ran to the doors. Other people were hiding in behind tables they had turned over.

MORAN: Police launched a nationwide manhunt, releasing this image of a suspect, who fled in a stolen car. And then, just after midnight, another shooting spree, this one downtown near a synagogue. Three people shot, one person killed, two police officers wounded. And the gunman fleeing on foot.

A few hours later, a shootout not far away. Danish police apparently lying in wait for a suspect. And when he arrived, killing him in an exchange of gunfire.

Authorities say they believe he was the gunman in both of the early shootings, seen on this security video from last night, described as, quote, "Arabic-looking, 25 to 30 years old, armed with a machine gun."all of this comes five weeks after jihadists struck the offices of the satirical magazine, "Charlie Hebdo," in Paris, killing 12 people there, revenge, they said, for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.


MORAN: There is now increased security here in Copenhagen, police blanketing the capital. And the investigation continues -- a search executed at an apartment in the city and police pointedly are not ruling out the possibility that this gunman may have had accomplices -- Martha.

RADDATZ: Thanks, Terry.

Let's bring in ABC News contributor John Cohen, former counterterrorism coordinator for the Department of Homeland Security.

John, this looks like a copycat killing. I know it's early in the story and it's developing, but is that what it looks like to you?


The -- the investigation will tell us what the motive was behind this attack. But I think what this attack does tell us, for sure, is that we have entered a period of new normal.

The threat facing communities across Europe, the United States, Canada, is a threat posed by individuals who are inspired by ISIS or al Qaeda, they have been recruited by ISIS or al Qaeda and they're looking to target soft targets.

I think was disturbing is that these targets have included law enforcement officers, military, the media and even the Jewish community in attacks at just Toulouse, Brussels, Paris. We have seen military police and the Jewish community targeted in each of those cities.

RADDATZ: So what do we do about protecting these soft targets?

Obviously, you can't protect everything.

What do authorities do?

COHEN: Well, first, we need to understand that local law enforcement plays a critical role and local law enforcement needs to work more closely with local communities. And what I mean by that is local law enforcement in Europe, in the United States, need to clearly understand the threat facing the communities that they police.

Secondly, they have to work with those communities, whether it be the media, whether it be Jewish facilities, whether it be other commercial entities, to establish security around those locations.

We also need to train people working in those facilities and the community to recognize the warning signs of somebody that may be in their community that may represent a threat.

And then local law enforcement needs to work with others in the local community to stop an act of violence from occurring.

RADDATZ: And you mentioned the Jewish facilities. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said today that he is calling for a massive emigration of European Jews to Israel because of what he called extremist Islamic terror.

Should Jews in Europe be that concerned?

COHEN: Well, I think we've seen several attacks take place within Europe. And I also know that European law enforcement authorities are reevaluating the way that they work with Jewish communities, particularly across the European Union.

There's been a lot of discussions underway since Paris and I suspect there will be a lot more conversations in the near future.

But what this attack does tell us very clearly is police, particularly police in Europe, need to think -- rethink their relationship with the Jewish communities in those cities.

It would be a shame if a community of faith had to leave their home because they did not feel safe in the community they may have lived in for generations.

RADDATZ: Indeed, it would. So thank you very much, John Cohen.

Now to the fight against ISIS here in Jordan, where war planes are joining coalition airstrikes against ISIS. The number of bombs dropped on targets has tripled since the fall, but on the ground, stemming the tide of fighters joining the extremists is much more complex.


RADDATZ (voice-over): Striking from the air, the U.S. and its allies stepping up the fight against ISIS, pounding targets across Iraq and Syria with growing ferocity.

Now, the president looking to escalate even more. This week, asking Congress for more flexibility for armed forces, which could soon include Special Forces on the ground.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now, make no mistake, this is a difficult mission and it will remain difficult for some time. It's going to take time to dislodge these terrorists.

RADDATZ: Terrorists who have flooded into Syria and Iraq from around the world, including just across the Jordan-Iraq border, where ISIS flourishes. This border is where we brought the former deputy head of Central Command, Admiral Robert Harward, who spent his career tracking the entire region and fighting on the ground as a Navy SEAL.

(on camera): It looks like the moonscape here, but -- but pretty easy to cross in.

ADM. ROBERT HARWARD, FORMER DEPUTY HEAD, CENTRAL COMMAND: Sure. You can walk, ride your camel, drive a car, ride a motorcycles. It's very simple to cross these areas of terrain.

RADDATZ: And just disappear.

HARWARD: At any time you want, day or night.

RADDATZ (voice-over): And driving along the border, we saw Jordanian tanks and forces deployed as fears grow that ISIS fighters could bring the battle to Jordan.

(on camera): The problem, of course, is not only ISIS fighters coming this way, but fighters who want to go be with ISIS going the other way.

(voice-over): That same fear on Jordan's northern border with Syria, where ABC's Alex Marquardt traveled.

ALEX MARQUARDT, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: As Jordan steps up their fight against ISIS, their jets screaming across the border, on the ground, young Jordanian men from tough, poorer towns can easily cross the border into Syria to join ISIS.

RADDATZ: After that shocking execution of the Jordanian pilot burned alive, much of the Arab and Muslim world rallied against ISIS, known in Arabic as Daesh.

(on camera): Would you go fight in Syria?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the -- the Daesh comes, our brother in Syria, yes, I will go to there.

RADDATZ: But that execution and the coalition airstrikes have also galvanized legions of ISIS supporters. In a war situation for us, you have to understand it's an eye for an eye, this man told me. When we visited the southern Jordanian city of Maan (ph), which has become fertile ground for ISIS and al Qaeda.

The people here in Maan (ph) say at least 40 young men from this town have been killed in Syria of the hundreds who have gone to fight there.

Religious extremism is growing in Maan (ph), an impoverished city with 25 percent unemployment, where many are angry and disenchanted with the king.

Young men, like those we met outside a mosque, are also inspired to fight after watching thousands of their fellow Muslims die in Syria's four-year long war.

Would you go fight in Syria? And why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): What we watch on TV give us the motivation to go and fight in Syria.

RADDATZ: What is that that motivates you to want to go into Syria and fight?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Syrians are our brothers and when you see how they are being killed you just have the motivation to go and fight.

RADDATZ: Many of those who answered the call to jihad from Jordan have been encouraged by this man: Abu Saev (ph), a well-known radical cleric previously imprisoned for leading anti-government protests.

In an interview at his home where as a woman I was told not to sit near him or be photographed with him, he said ISIS made a mistake by burning the pilot alive, but defended sending extremist fighters to Syria.

Tell us why you want to send fighter to Syria?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): When the Syrian people call upon all Muslims to support them, we and the Salafi jihadi movement answered this call and this is for the sake of god that we went to fight in Syria.

RADDATZ: A fight, he said, that men and women are willing to face prison for or death.


RADDATZ: We're back now with Admiral Bob Harward and our own Alex Marquardt who has spent so many years covering this region.

Admiral Harward I want to start with you. We heard the president this week request more troops if necessary. And they're talking about special operations troops this time, not a massive ground troop movement.

HARWARD: Well, they know special operations forces can identity the leadership, identify the financial support and the logistics and go after and get them. And so that's what we're going to do here.

RADDATZ: And those are the smaller units using drones, using -- it's not just an air campaign, you have to go in there?

HARWARD: That's exactly right.

And look we have an Arab coalition that wants to be proactive and engage. They're part of the air campaign now. They'll be part of that broader campaign as well.

RADDATZ: And Alex, you've been watching this. You've been in Syria, you've been all over this region, this is a very, very different fight than say Afghanistan.

ALEX MARQUARDT, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: It is. It's not a conventional war like we've seen in Afghanistan, Iraq or even Libya. And the administration is clearly looking at their successes and failures in Syria and Iraq. And if you look back five months when the campaign started, they've carried out more than 2,300 airstrikes and there's very little that they can point to in terms of successes. The map hasn't really changed.

They were able to push ISIS out of northern Syria and Kobani, but at the end of the day very little has changed in terms of the territory that ISIS controls.

RADDATZ: And one of the things they obviously say is, look, this just takes time. But we were all discussing that target list, its vehicles, its bulldozers, its very small ball what they're going after.

HARWARD: Yeah, but I think the difference here and where they are making progress is understanding the problem, understanding who those leaders are, where they're getting their resources from and going after that part of the problem. I think that's the evolution they've made and where we are today. And that's why I think the president's realization and what he's asking for will set the stage to get after that problem.

RADDATZ: Alex, as you heard I was in a small town in Jordan. Population there very supportive of ISIS. I think it's so stunning to hear people say things like that, but that's really the root of the problem, too. You have 30,000 people willing to join ISIS and fight. They're not all leaders, that's for sure.

MARQUARDT: Absolutely. The mission is to degrade and destroy ISIS. And what we've seen is this series of execution videos, these twisted, awful videos that are horrifying to most of us, but inspiring to so many people across this region. And so as the administration goes after and kills many of these fighters in Iraq and Syria, they're still managing to recruit people from across the region and around the world. Their forces are swelling.

RADDATZ: You heard what Alex said, you know this as well, how do you defeat that?

HARWARD: That's a great point. And that's been the problem. Over the last 12 years we've been able to defeat the organization, but we haven't been able to defeat the ideology.

Now some of these recent videos where you're burning and individual in a cage, I think at the end of the day that's going to be counterproductive and get after the ideology.

MARQUARDT: They clearly don't think that it's going to be counterproductive either. I mean, to some extent the short-run they did shoot themselves in the foot, because you've seen the Muslim world, the Arab world rally together, certainly here in Jordan carrying out more airstrikes. The United Arab Emirates starting up their airstrikes again. But they really see this as a recruiting tool.

RADDATZ: Thanks to both of you.

Now to potential new threats coming to the homeland from this region, including blunt new warnings from the FBI about ISIS, and fears terrorists could sneak into the U.S. posing as refugees. Senior Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas on that story.


PIERRE THOMAS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Thousands of Islamic radicals streaming in to Syria and Iraq, not more than 20,000 strong. 3,400 from western countries, including America, so many that the FBI now bluntly admits it's a struggle to track them all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know every person there. And I don't know everyone coming back. So it's not even close to being under control.

THOMAS: Authorities say the number of foreign fighters is now at a critical point, a clear and present danger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The rate of foreign fighter travel that we've seen in recent years is unprecedented, it exceeds the rate of travel and travelers who went to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, or Somalia at any point in the last 20 years.

THOMAS: The United Nations says the civil war in Syria has displaced more than 12 million people, creating a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. And according to some U.S. officials, now a new potential national security challenge as well.

About 400 Syrian refugees have already come to the U.S. and thousands more may follow. Screening them all, a daunting challenge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're talking about a country that's a failed state. All the data sets, the police, the intel services that normally you would go and seek that information don't exist.

THOMAS: Some Republican lawmakers worry about terrorists hiding among the victims who had their homes and lives destroyed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This would be a federally sanctioned welcome party, if you will, to potential terrorists in the United States.

THOMAS: But some administration officials believe such concerns may be overstated, and that mechanisms are in place to properly vet refugees.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We seek to bring people who are really the most vulnerable. And indeed most of the refugees we bring are families. And it's a tradition that many Americans should be very proud of.

THOMAS: Syria, a hellhole of strife, forcing the U.S. to balance protecting national security with easing human misery.

For this week, Pierre Thomas, ABC News, Washington.


RADDATZ: Thanks, Pierre.

We'll have much more from Jordan later and from Iran.

But now let's go to Washington and my colleague Jon Karl -- Jon.


Coming up, our closer look at that stunning legal standoff in Alabama. Why the state's top judge says he's taking on the Supreme Court over gay marriage.

And Vice President Biden hits Iowa with a message for Hillary Clinton. Back in just two minutes.


KARL: Now our closer look at that legal showdown in Alabama. The state's chief justice is defying federal courts. This morning he's still vowing to block same-sex marriage.

ABC's Steve Osunsami has the latest.


STEVE OSUNSAMI, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: In the fight over gay marriage in Alabama, the latest blow is from a federal court in Mobile telling county judges to take down signs and start marrying gay couples.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've waited 33 years for this.

OSUNSAMI: Kerry Sercy (ph) and Kimberly McCain (ph) are at the center of the case. They sued the state when their son needed surgery after the hospital refused to recognize both of them as parents.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We needed that legal protection.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was never about marriage for us, it was all about protecting our family.

OSUNSAMI: Same-sex marriage is now legal in more than 30 states, but when a federal judge sided with Sercy (ph) and McCain (ph), striking down a gay marriage ban in Alabama, no one less than the chief justice of Alabama's supreme court stepped in the way.

ROY MOORE, CHIEF JUSTICE, ALABAMA SUPREME COURT: Definition of marriage between one man and one woman.

OSUNSAMI: The famously anti-federal chief justice Roy Moore is still ordering county probate judges to refuse marriage licenses for gay couples, arguing that he and the county judges are not required to listen to the federal judge in Mobile.

MOORE: Under federal law, federal courts can't mandate their decisions upon state courts.

OSUNSAMI: One of the country's most famous constitutional law professors disagrees.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have a supremacy clause in our constitution. When federal law is in conflict with state law, federal law wins out.

OSUNSAMI: The U.S. Supreme Court will decide the case in June, one of its justices showing her hand.

RUTH BADER GINSBERG, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: As more and more people came out and said this is the way out and the rest of us recognized it that they are one of us.

OSUNSAMI: But the fight in Alabama could continue even if the Supreme Court sides with gay couples. The resistance here to the federal government is strong.

For This Week, Steve Osunsami, ABC News, Atlanta.


KARL: Joining us now, Alabama probate court judge Steven Reed, welcome to This Week. Judge Reed, you were the first probate judge in Alabama who said publicly you would issue same-sex marriage licenses, any hesitation about going head-to-head and defying your own state's chief justice?

STEVEN REED, ALABAMA PROBATE JUDGE: No. There was no hesitation. At the time Chief Justice Moore had not started bloviating on this topic and so there was no need to defy because I didn't ask for his opinion and frankly didn't need it.

The federal judge told us what we needed to do. And to me that was as clear cut as I needed in order to make a decision.

KARL: And, you know, if you look at polls, though, in Alabama. Of course, Alabama approved that ban on same-sex marriage back in 2006 with over 80 percent voting yes. And even now in Alabama, look at the latest poll, 59 percent say they oppose same-sex marriage.

Isn't -- aren't the people of Alabama essentially with Judge Moore on this? Does that bother you?

REED: No, that doesn't bother me at all. I mean, we're a nation of laws, not of men, and so we are sworn to uphold an oath in the probate court and that's what we do, we uphold the oath as it relates to the state constitution and the U.S. constitution.

And so we understand that we can't bring politics and personal feelings into decisions that we make day-to-day.

KARL: Have you felt pressure since this has happened? What's happened to you? You've got the chief judge going and telling you to do something entirely different from what you're doing.

REED: No, there hasn't been any pressure from my end at all, because I think it was a desperate attempt to defy the federal government. I think that's what places Alabama a step backwards in some people's eyes when they see things like this happen that the defiance and the resistance. And I think that we're on the front side of this and we're on the right side of history where this is concerned.

KARL: And the supreme court is going to rule in June on this if they rule, as many expect, that same-sex marriage is constitutional across the country. Is that going to end the issue in Alabama?

REED: I would love to tell you that it would, but certainly you know we've seen evidence in the past as it related to school integration, voting rights as well as public housing desegregation cases that that wasn't always the case.

I hope in this case that it will be, but you can't be surprised at anything when you have someone like the chief justice who has been named as the vox populi of the judicial branch of the state of Alabama. Anything can happen.

KARL: All right, probate judge Steven Reed in Alabama, thank you very much for joining us.

REED: You're welcome. Thank you for having me.

KARL: Coming up, Joe Biden dropped new hints about 2016. And Barbara Bush has a flip-flop about Jeb. Does she still think America has had enough Bushes? And Jon Stewart's surprise exit from the Daily Show.


JON STEWART, HOST, DAILY SHOW: I'm going to have dinner on a school night with my family who I have heard from multiple sources are lovely people.




KARL: Back now with our politics buzz board. Topping it off, Jeb Bush has convinced at least one person to vote for him: his mother. Barbara Bush had famously said there have been too many Bushes.

BARBARA BUSH, FRM. FIRST LADY: If we can't find more than two or three families to run for high office, that's silly.

KARL: She told Jeb Friday via Skype that she's changed her mind.

And Vice President Biden in Iowa. His advice for any Democrat thinking about 2016, give the president a great big hug.

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Run, yes, run, on what we've done. Some say that would amount to a third term for the president. I call it sticking with what works.

KARL: But maybe Democrats should consider campaigning on the vice president's name instead.

Despite that Obama Buzzfeed video, our Facebook sentimeter shows Biden with a higher percentage of positive interactions.


KARL: Time for our roundtable. Joining me now is Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, Republican strategist Ana Navarro, Jim VandeHei the co-founder and CEO of Politico and Bob Costa from the Washington Post.

Donna, we heard the vice president say that basically whoever runs needs to run for a third term of Barack Obama. Is that what Hillary Clinton going to do?

DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I don't think so. Look, there's no question that the potential Democratic candidate -- because we don't know yet -- should not run away from the Obama-Biden record, there's a lot of good stuff there, nor should they run against the so-called Clinton-Gore record. But you know what, the election is not about the past it's about the future. So if Hillary is the candidate, or Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren or Jim Webb -- and I can go on and on, I know people don't believe we have a bench -- they have to run on moving the country forward and solving some of the problems that will be left over after President Obama leaves office.

KARL: I see you're smiling, Ana, you hope that the Democratic nominee runs for a third Obama term.

ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: It's all going to depend on his numbers. Like if his numbers look anything like they did during the 2014 election we're going to see Democrats do what they did in 2014 -- run as far away from him as they possibly can.

If his numbers are good, I can assure you they're going to be Siamese twins.

KARL: But, Jim, what is Biden up to? I mean, he's now saying he's going to decide by the end of the summer. You remember, he decided last time he declared his candidacy in January of 2007, so it was already well underway. What is he doing here?

JIM VANDEHEI, CO-FOUNDER, POLITICO: He wants to be relevant. He wants to be alive. He wants there to be an opening for him if Hillary Clinton does not run for whatever reason. She's going to run. If she runs, there's no chance I think that he would get into this race.

I don't think anybody serious is going to get into the race at this point if she runs. We had a -- a piece this week where even the people who are saying they might run, they won't even say a bad word about her or draw distinctions with her. And that's why her numbers are so big, her fundraising is so strong and every person who wants a job in Democratic politics works for her or is about to work for her.

KARL: Biden wants to be out there in the bullpen just in case something does happen...


KARL: -- that prevents Hillary from getting into the race.

ROBERT COSTA, WASHINGTON POST: He does. And I was just in Iowa for five days and reported on the ground there. And you really get the sense among Democrats that there's an appetite for something else. There's a lot of respect for Secretary Clinton. She's, of course, ahead in the polls. A majority of Democrats want her to be the nominee.

But I went to a runwarrenrun event. And they're trying to still get Elizabeth Warren into the race. They talked a little bit about Biden, O'Malley, Webb.

Democrats wants to see a debate.


BRAZILE: There's a lot of resolutions. And that's something that I think the Clinton campaign, when it -- when and if it becomes a campaign, will have to address. There's a hunger to debate some of these issues because, like most Americans, we have opinions, too.

KARL: And you think that she should debate whoever is running, even if it's Martin O'Malley at 2 percent in the polls?

BRAZILE: You know, we know the Republicans are going to debate among themselves and most of their positions will be against Hillary. So, yes, I think she should have that debate.

KARL: OK, so I'll...

NAVARRO: You know, she definitely should. One -- I think one of the things that worked against John McCain in 2008 is that he wrapped up the nomination so quickly while there was this vibrant contest going on on the Democrat side and McCain couldn't get attention if he doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire.

KARL: OK, so let's turn to the Republicans.

We had reportedly "The Washington Post" reporting that Jeb Bush is planning a whole series of fundraisers, when thou -- $100,000 a ticket.

Is there anybody else on the Republican side that can raise anywhere near that kind of money?

COSTA: Chris Christie is trying and he's struggling, though. I was again with him in Iowa this week. He is not really catching on with a lot of those activists.

But Bush made two big early moves. He got Mitt Romney to stay out of the race and he's holding these $100,000 a ticket fundraisers, really putting a lot of pressure on his rivals to raise that similar kind of cash.


NAVARRO: Well, to be fair, guys, not all of the fundraisers are $100,000 a ticket. There's others. I think there's going to be...


NAVARRO: -- a range of levels.

COSTA: John Kasich is going to be in South Carolina this week. Keep an eye on him. He's someone who's won twice in Ohio, has a center right message. He could be a favorite of donors.

VANDEHEI: But the -- the political play of the year so far was Jeb Bush signaling that he's going to get in that early. He knocked Mitt Romney out, who wanted to get in. He basically took Chris Christie, I think who was floundering already. He might have killed his political chances.

There is a big opening out there, because, again, I think Jeb Bush is yesterday in -- in some respects.

And so if you are a Kasich or if you're a Mike Pence or you're a Marco Rubio, if you're somebody who wants to be a more forward thinking Republican and say you want a total break from the past, at the end of the day, the question that Barbara Bush said is a true one, like can we really only find two families that want to run and can run in politics?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It might be yes.

NAVARRO: But she changed her mind on that.


NAVARRO: I think that's -- she's his mom...


BRAZILE: She's his mom. But, you know, I don't think the money primary is really going to capture the -- the momentum going into the summer months. I think the -- the hunger on the Republican side is for someone who is not only authentic, a real true conservative, I hang out with some conservatives from time to time.

But they're looking for somebody who's electable, who's a champion, who will bring their -- their issues to the forefront. And I don't know if that's Jeb Bush.


NAVARRO: -- White House exile for eight years. The hunger on the Republican side is to win. And whomever can...


KARL: OK. OK we...


KARL: -- we...


KARL: -- we've got to take a quick break.


KARL: But before we go, we've got our Powerhouse Puzzler.

Remember Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg nodding off at the State of the Union?

This week, she had an explanation for why that happened -- fine California wine.


JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG, SUPREME COURT: I was 100 percent sober because before we went to the State of the Union, we had dinner together and Justice Kennedy brought in...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, that's the first intelligent thing you've done.


KARL: So here's our Supreme Court-inspired question.

How many Supreme Court justices have there been in all of American history?

The answer in two minutes.


KARL: So how many Supreme Court justices have there been?

Let's see who gets closest to the right answer.


BRAZILE: Well, look, I'm just -- if I count the minorities and the females, we've only had six. So I figure 53 total.

KARL: Fifty-three. OK.


NAVARRO: This is all I have to say.


KARL: One seventy-eight would be a little high.


KARL: Damn close. The answer is 112. As Donna points out...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, eight away.

KARL: -- just four of them were women.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's pretty good.

KARL: We're back with a big debate over authorizing a new war against ISIS.



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, my administration submitted a draft resolution to Congress to authorize the use of force against ISIL. Our coalition is on the offensive. ISIL is on the defensive and ISIL is going to lose.


KARL: That was President Obama on Wednesday, calling on Congress to vote to authorize the use of military force for the first time since 2002.

And it might be the first time a president has asked for limits on his own military options.

The authorization lasts for just three years. And it explicitly rules out, "enduring offensive ground combat operations."

Some Republicans say that places too many limits on the military.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) OHIO: I'm not sure that it's a strategy that's outlined will accomplish the mission the president says he wants to accomplish.

REPORTER: But some Democrats are critical, too, saying it leaves too many options on the table.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That language is very broad. It would allow significant U.S. ground combat operations.


KARL: Let's take on the debate now with congressman Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee and Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger who flew in the air force as a pilot in Iraq and in Afghanistan.

Congressman Schiff, I want to start with you, though, on the attacks overnight in Copenhagen. Is there any indication that you are hearing that this is tied in any way to ISIS or to al Qaeda?

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D) CALIFORNIA: The intelligence community is telling me at this point we still don't know. Obviously, they're working with Danish authorities to try to get to the bottom of was there an affiliation with al Qaeda or ISIS? Was this self-radicalization? Was this a copycat of what happened in Paris? But it's still too early to tell.

KARL: All right, let's get to the debate on this war resolution. This is a fascinating debate, because first of all Adam Schiff you are a Democrat, you want to give the president less options. We want to tie his hands a little bit more. You, Congressman Kinzinger, you are a Republican you want to give him more options.

So, what I want to ask both of you, though, looking at this debate, what is at stake if congress takes this up and fails to pass this resolution? What does it say to the rest of the world?

SCHIFF: Well, it says that congress can't get its act together, for one thing. And it also says to future presidents that congress is basically an historical anachronism in terms of its power to declare war, that we're no longer relevant in that debate.

We should have never taken six months to take this up. It is finally happening. I think it's very important that we find a way to get to yes on an authorization. But I also think it's very important that not write another blank check. We did that 14 years ago with the 2001 authorization. And that authorization continues in force on the president's proposal. That's very worrying to a lot of Democrats, because it means that when the new one expires, the next president can simply rely on this old authorization and say that gives me the authority to go after whoever I want, wherever I want in any way I want.

KARL: But Congressman Kinzinger, you say that this ties the president's hands.

REP. ADAM KINZINGER, (R) ILLINOIS: I think it ties the president's hands. It also is making congress, in essence, part of the president's limited strategy. The president -- I've been critical to say he needs, you know, more airstrikes, probably embed some special operations on the ground to push back ISIS.

But at the end of the day you have to say this, look, the existence of ISIS is the worst thing or the existence of American ground combat operations is the worse thing. And what this, what his draft resolution would do is say we need to destroy ISIS to a point unless it takes enduring offensive operations, whatever that means, then in which case we just don't have the authority to do it.

The job of congress, and Adam said it, is to declare war, it's not to be commander-in-chief. And this authorization as the president put out would be in essence congress being commander-in-chief and making strategic decisions.

KARL: But congressman, if you're worried about this opening the door to ground troops, why don't you believe the president when he says over and over again we are not going to have another ground war in the Middle East?

SCHIFF: Well, that's what this president believes, and I do believe this president is determined not to occupy another country as we did earlier in Iraq and we have done in Afghanistan.

But this authorization goes beyond the term of this president. We don't know who the next president will be or what their intentions will be. And the problem with writing something so broad that has no sunset date, no geographic limitation and...

KARL: But a three year...

SCHIFF: Well, this one does, but my colleague and others are advocating for no sunset date -- is that we could find ourselves 14 years from now, and we're 14 years from when we passed the last authorization, in 2029 with the president going into a country where there's no terrorism today against a group that doesn't exist today and relying on the authorization we passed today. And I don't think we want to make the mistake we made in the past of giving that kind of broad authorization.

The problem with arguing that we tell our enemies what we're going to do is that we're not telling the American people what we're going to do.

KARL: So I want to ask you quickly before we go, the president gave this interview to Vox where he suggested that climate change is a greater threat than terrorism. Do you agree with that? Start with you Congressman Schiff.

SCHIFF: Well, I wouldn't agree that it's the more immediate threat. It's certainly a threat to our planet and it's one we have to deal with and we don't know where the tipping point is. But it's such a very different problem, I'm not sure I'd put them in the same sentence.

KINZINGER: I agree. It's very different problems. We're facing ISIS and al Qaeda today, which is a very big threat to us.

And let me just say last, you said it in the opening segment coming in. This would be the first time congress would place limits on the commander-in-chief's ability to be commander-in-chief. We don't own his limited strategy, the president has to make that decision, which is why I think he needs the broad power to do what the commander-in-chief does.

KARL: OK, thank you both for joining us.

The roundtable will be joining us in a moment, but first let's take a listen to something else the president said in that interview with Vox.com where he suggested that the terrorist threat has been overhyped.


OBAMA: We devote enormous resources to that. And it is right and appropriate for us to be vigilant and aggressive in trying to deal with that. The same way that a big city mayor has got to cut the crime rate down if he wants that city to thrive.


KARL: OK, back now with the roundtable. Donna, comparing the fight against terrorism with a big city mayor fighting crime?

BRAZILE: Look, I don't know the metaphors that people think about when they have to talk about some of these big, global challenges. But I want to go back to your original question to the congressman. I think the president is right to get congress on record. The brave men and women who will be fighting this war deserve a vote, deserve a debate, and we need to have a robust debate.

ISIS is different. I mean, they're -- I mean, al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, I mean I can name a bunch of them, they're all different. But the fact that they are recruiting each and every moment, probably recruiting off of this segment. We need to understand what the threat is and make sure that we have the resources and not just our resources, our military, but also the resources of those in the region who will help us defeat and destroy this enemy.

KARL: But I've got to say Bob listening to those two congressman, I don't get the sense this thing is going to pass anytime soon. And it may not pass at all.

COSTA: It may not at all.

Walking around the capital this week, I really got the sense that the Republican Party especially is not united on how to move forward on foreign policy. You have Ted Cruz, he's wary of giving blanket authorization. Marco Rubio, Governor Scott Walker, they're talking about troops on the ground. Rand Paul is out there. He's war weary, connecting with those libertarians who have concerns about going back to sending forces over there.

And so there's no kind of resolution on the horizon.

VANDEHEI: But if you cut through it, it doesn't really matter. Yes, it matters if you get congress to be on record in support of the war, but either way the president has basically unlimited authority to do whatever he thinks he needs to in order fight the...

KARL: But doesn't it matter in terms of perception, though? If you have a vote come up and the congress votes it down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course it matters.

VANDEHEI: Maybe, on the margins. But I don't think this is about perception. At the end of the day if we need to kill people who want to kill us, can we kill them? Does the commander-in-chief have the authority to do this? Under the existing war authorization he has it. Under this, he will continue to have it.

Look at the language. The idea is it doesn't have to be isolated just in Syria, it can go to anyplace where ISIS might have a presence. Well, look at the New York Times today, it looks like it could be Algeria, it looks like it could be Egypt, Afghanistan...

COSTA: It's Libya.

NAVARRO: It feels to me like the person who wrote this AUMF language was drinking the same thing as Ruth Ginsberg, because they somehow managed to antagonize Republicans and Democrats. It's the one glimmer of bipartisanship we have seen in congress this week is the reaction to this language.

BRAZILE: That's why it's called draft so that members can read it and refine it, but not..

NAVARRO: Which they need to do, they need to debate, because I do agree with you that the perception of not having this pass would be terrible, so they need to work on better language.

KARL: So speaking of terrible, the other thing is when congress comes back from its recess there will be five days left before funding for Homeland Security ends. Republicans don't seem to have a clue about what they're going to do on this.

Look at what the Wall Street Journal editorial board said this week, "it's not too soon to say that the fate of the GOP majority is on the line. Precious weeks are wasting and the combination of week House leadership and a runt minority unwilling to compromise is playing into Democratic hands. This is no way to run a congressional majority."

Are they going to find a way out of this? What's going to happen?

COSTA: It's amazing. They went on a retreat to Hershey, Pennsylvania in January, the House Republicans and the Senate Republicans and they thought they could maybe work together. But had House Republicans, speaking Boehner still pressuring McConnell who wants to avoid these kind of showdowns, to have them, the Senate, pass the House immigration bill.

The Senate knows they can't pass it. And so we have this impasse and it's Republican created because they just can't come up with any kind of agreement.

VANDEHEI: And if they stepped back for a second. Like, one of the great things for the country over the last couple of months is that you now have Boehner and McConnell I think authentically saying in public that they actually want to govern, that they want to prove they can govern. But this is their one big test to prove that they can govern, and guess what, governing in divided government is really, really hard. It was harder than you were saying when you were running for election and now they have to figure out this problem.

The truth is the problem again, just like we were talking before, it's not as big as we actually think it is because, what 200 of the 230,000 department...

KARL: Essential employees.

VANDEHEI: They're essential employees, so they would continue to work...

NAVARRO: You're talking about DHS budget at a time when we are seeing terror strike all over the world? I think it would be something that would be very unsettling for the American people...

KARL: To say there's a...

NAVARRO: A showdown and coming down to the brink when it comes to DHS funding.


NAVARRO: To find a way out of it.

BRAZILE: And you're asking -- you're asking our border security, you're asking our TSA folks -- we know them very well -- you're asking them to work without pay when members of congress are getting $174,000 -- they should do their job, pass a bill. There are 188 Democrats who are ready to help John Boehner, He should call...


KARL: I want to take a dramatic turn here.


KARL: Jon Stewart's surprise announcement that he is leaving "The Daily Show." You know, he's made fun of me at...


KARL: -- made fun at my expense over the years many times. This was one of my favorite moments.


KARL: So we -- we just wanted to ask you...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me, this is the senator-only elevator.

KARL: Can -- can I come on the elevator?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, you may not.


KARL: -- people who are unemployed?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got to go to the floor.

JON STEWART, HOST: By the way, in case you are wondering why he's so protective of his precious elevator, have you ever been inside the senator-only elevator?

Come with me and you'll be in a world...


KARL: So I've got to say, after that segment ran, I -- my two daughters, Emily and Anna, every time they came to see me work on the Hill, they wanted to go to the senators-only elevator.

But -- but somewhat more seriously, what is -- what's Jon Stewart's legacy?

BRAZILE: I mean he made politics relevant. He made it funny and he made fun of all of us.

KARL: Jim?

VANDEHEI: I'd say the only time anyone ever realizes that we have jobs is when we're made fun of on -- on that show. It shows that for anyone under the age of 40, that's where they're getting the news and they've made news more digestible for people who otherwise they don't think are really going to digest the news.

KARL: Anna?

NAVARRO: All I know is that late night comedy still seems to be the reign of white men. So, Donna, what about it?

You want to give it a -- a whirl?

BRAZILE: I think...


COSTA: When I was at Notre Dame, we used to have watch parties, when I was an undergrad, to watch "The Daily Show." I mean he changed everything for millennials to get interested in politics.

KARL: All right. Great...


NAVARRO: Notre Dame...


KARL: Thank you all.

Now let's go back to Martha Raddatz in Jordan -- Martha.

RADDATZ: Thanks, Jon.

About 1,000 miles from here in Tehran, echoes of the Iranian Revolution still reverberate 36 years later.

When we return, a look at what's changed and what hasn't since the popular uprising.


RADDATZ: Welcome back.

As the hunt for ISIS intensifies, attention has been focused on the response here in Jordan and from the United States.

But there's also an unlikely ally in the fight. Iran is also waging a battle against a common enemy.

Earlier this week, I got a rare look inside that country.


RADDATZ (voice-over): For most Americans, this is the iconic image of Iran -- women shrouded entirely in black. But underneath that cover are high heels, Fendi purses, cell phones.

I got a look at the Iran you rarely see, where Hollywood hits are sold on the street and where hiking and skiing are popular pastimes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All they need is snow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, it's a date.

RADDATZ (on camera): Oh, a date. Thank you. Thank you.

(voice-over): This ski resort is like the Aspen of Tehran, drawing hundreds even on a rainy day like this one.

(on camera): What would you tell American people about Iran?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It has its own arrangements that are like anywhere else in the world.

RADDATZ (voice-over): But not everyone is content with the status quo here.

(on camera): You wish you had a little more freedom?


RADDATZ (voice-over): That is not likely to happen any time soon. Iran remains a strongly conservative nation, where this week, more than a million people in Tehran celebrated the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

(on camera): What this celebration is really about is a victory over the U.S. and against Western influence, which is why all around me, they are shouting "Death to America!."

What do you think of America?

(voice-over): The great Satan, she says.

It is U.S. policy, not the people, who the Iranians denounce. I never felt threatened and was treated with kindness. But since the revolution in 1979 and the American hostage crisis, the U.S. And Iran have been political enemies.

(on camera): For Americans, 1979 in Iran evokes a terrible and powerful memory.

(voice-over): Masoumeh Ebtekar is one of Iran's dozen vice presidents. She became well known to Americans in 1979 as Sister Mary, the English-speaking spokesperson of the crisis.


It not only does not defend them...

RADDATZ: She was even portrayed in the Oscar-winning "Argo."

EBTEKAR: And then I attempted...

RADDATZ: Now, Vice President Ebtekar and President Hasan Rouhani believe that Iran is key in the fight against ISIS.

EBTEKAR: I think that it requires that nations throughout the world work together to resolve this issue.

RADDATZ: In Tehran, citizens also express their disgust toward ISIS.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't like them guys.

RADDATZ (on camera): We don't either.

(voice-over): The feeling was the same in the deeply conservative city of Qom, the spiritual heart of Iran, the birthplace of the Islamic Revolution. The one million people here find themselves at the center of an intense nuclear debate.

Just up in those mountains, Pathcom (ph) is a nuclear enrichment facility.

(on camera): Do you want a nuclear weapon?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe for peaceful terms for us.

RADDATZ (voice-over): Just last week, President Obama said he was optimistic about reaching an agreement that aims to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: According to their supreme leader, it would be contrary to their faith to obtain a nuclear weapon. If that is true, there should be the possibility of getting a deal. They should be able to get to yes.

RADDATZ: Even Iran's Vice President Ebtekar was voicing optimism.

EBTEKAR: Bring the relationships between Iran and the U.S. on the nuclear issue to a rational balance.

RADDATZ: But in Iran, where conflict and defeat are in sharp contrast to the kindness on the streets, no one is counting on a deal.


RADDATZ: And we're back with more from Jordan after this from our ABC stations.


RADDATZ: Welcome back.

Before we leave you, a final word from here in Jordan. While the war being waged in this region may feel a world away from you at home, there are lots of Americans and allies working to make sure the reach of Islamic extremists does not extend even further.

But it is clear from what we have seen here this week, it will be a generational battle.

But we end with some good news. The Pentagon did not release any names of service members killed in Afghanistan or Iraq this week.

That's all for us today.

Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us.

Check out "World News Tonight" and we'll see you next week.

So long from Amman, Jordan.

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