'This Week' Transcript: DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson

Homeland Security secretary interviewed on "This Week."

ByABC News
February 22, 2015, 9:28 AM

— -- Below is the rush transcript for "This Week" on February 22, 2015. It may contain errors and will be updated.

ANNOUNCER: Right now on ABC This Week, taking the fight to ISIS. The Pentagon under fire for revealing its attack plan. How the new defense secretary is responding this morning.

The Homeland Security secretary on the struggle to stop the ISIS recruiting machine.

And the American trying to keep our kids from signing up.

Shots fired: what 2016 contenders are now saying about Rudy's Obama jab.

And why is Hillary Clinton digging up dirt on herself?

Then, miracle on ice 35 years ago today, that American win we'll never forget.

From ABC News This Week with George Stephanopoulos begins now.

And as we come on the air, there is a new terror threat against the Homeland. The Mall of America in Minneapolis a target. It comes from a new video released by the terror group who carried out a deadly mall attack in Kenya. We're going to get the government's response from Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson after this report from ABC's senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas. Good morning, Pierre.

PIERRE THOMAS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, George. Those new terror threats come in a propaganda video recently released by the al Qaeda linke Somali group al Shabaab.

The video appears to call for attacks on western malls, including in the U.S., Canada and the UK.

Minnesota's Mall of America was specifically mentioned by name. This is the same terror group that claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on the Kenyan mall two years ago.

67 people were killed in that four-day siege on a Nairobi shopping center. This new threat has the attention of U.S. officials because al Shabaab has been able to successfully recruit dozens of young men from the Minneapolis area.

FBI and homeland security officials tell me they are aware of the video. The Mall of America has been contacted.

Mall officials put out a statement saying they have implemented new security precautions. Some of the measures will be noticeable, others won't be.

George, all malls throughout the country will be made aware of this threat and federal officials tell me that they've been working with malls and shopping centers for some time on just this kind of threat -- George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, thanks for that. Let's get more on this now from the Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson. Mr. Secretary, thanks for joining us this morning. What more can you tell us about this threat against the Mall of America?

JEH JOHNSON, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Well, George, the video that was released by al Shabaab reflects what I believe is the new phase we've evolved in terms of the global terrorist threat and what we need to do in terms of counterterrorism. Groups like ISIL, al Shabaab, AQAP are now publicly calling for attacks either through the internet, through videos, through publications, which means that we need to respond militarily, but we also have to have a whole of government approach through law enforcement, homeland security and frankly countering violent extremism efforts here in the homeland, in communities.

So I've been personally out there in places like Minneapolis, Chicago, Columbus, Ohio, L.A., Boston, meeting with community leaders, talking about the importance of public participation in our efforts.

We're in a new phase now. And I'm afraid that this most recent video release reflects that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We know that some 20 to 30 citizens and others in Minneapolis have been targeted by ISIS, have gone overseas. How serious is the problem in that community specifically?

JOHNSON: Well, the profile of a so-called foreign fighter is a little difficult to discern. They tend to be all over the map literally and figuratively. But through the FBI, through homeland security, we've done a pretty good job of tracking those individuals who attempt to leave and go to Syria. A number have been arrested and charged with material support to terrorism. And we are doing our best to track these people in their travel. We do a pretty good job.

Broken travel is a challenge, which is why it's all the more important that we work with our international partners, with our counterterrorism partners overseas, to build systems to track the travel of individuals of suspicion.

We come a long way in that regard, but there's more to do. And we had a conversation along those lines earlier this week.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You talk about this new phase that al Shabaab, ISIL and others are in. Lindsey Graham, Senator Lindsey Graham is going to come on the program later, said he's never been more worried about a terrorist attack here in the United States. That echoes what the attorney general told Pierre Thomas this summer.

Is that hyperbole? And if not, are we doing enough to stop this threat?

JOHNSON: Look, my view is this: thirteen-and-a-half years ago when we were attacked on 9/11 we were attacked by core al Qaeda through a relatively straight forward command and control structure where they would train operatives in their camps, dispatch them, send them overseas to commit attacks.

We're now in a different phase that is more complex, more decentralized, more diffuse, which involves pretty effective use by these groups of the internet, of social media, of print, and so we've got to bring to this a whole of government approach, which includes countering violent extremism here at home, includes law enforcement, charging people with material support as well as the military response.

And the reason I think we're all concerned about this is because it encourages independent actors who could strike with very little notice to our intelligence community, our law enforcement community here at home. And so that's one of the reasons, frankly, why it's imperative that we have a budget for the Department of Homeland security, which is due to expire at the end of the week. And I'm assuming you'll ask me about that at some point.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I will ask you about that.

But first you just used the phrase violent extremism. As you know, the president and your team have been taking some criticism for not labeling this Islamic extremism, Islamic terror. I want to show the cover of the New York Post right there, "Islamic terror, I just don't see it." President Obama blindfolded right there.

How do you respond to that criticism? There's no question that these groups like al Shabaab and ISIL are driven by theology, are driven by their view of Islam, however perverted it may be. Why not call it that? And does it undermine our strategy not to label it clearly?

JOHNSON: Well, I have two responses. First, whether it's called Islamic extremism or violent extremism, groups like ISIL, ISIL in particular, represents a very dangerous terrorist organization and a serious potential threat to homeland security. And we're responding militarily as well as doing a number of other things.

Now I have to say, when I travel around the country and meet with Muslim leaders in this country in these engagements that I have, they all tend to say pretty much the same thing, which is that ISIL has hijacked my religion. And so in my view, if we start referring to ISIL as occupying any form of the Islamic theology. We're pretty much dignifying them as occupying some form of that faith.

And I know that Muslim leaders in this country push back hard on that. And it seems to me it's going to a place where ISIL would very much like us to go in that we're dignifying them as occupying some form of Islam.

They don't. Islam is about peace and brotherhood. There are 1.6 billion Muslims in this world. And the true Islamic faith has nothing to do with what ISIL represents. And so to start labeling them as Islamic or Islamic State in any respect, I think gives them far more dignity than they deserve. And so do a lot of Muslims believe that too, by the way.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You mention the issue of funding. Your department runs out of funding this Friday. Any closer to getting that resolved? And what happens if it's not?

JOHNSON: Well, it's imperative that we get it resolved, because if we don't by Friday at Midnight, homeland security -- the homeland security budget for this nation basically evaporates. And I've spend a lot of time on Capitol Hill. They were gone last week, but they are back this week.

But I've spent a lot of time on Capitol Hill talking to Democrats, Republicans about how critical it is in these challenging times in particular with the global terrorist threat, with the cyber security threat and with the harsh winter we're facing right now that we have a budget for homeland security. And I'm a little frustrated, frankly, because when I talk to my friends on the senate side, they say go talk to the house. And when I go talk to my friends on the House side, they say it's not me I passed my bill, go talk to the Senate. So they're literally doing this.

My hope is that in the four working days they have this week, they'll finally come together and do the right thing and pass an appropriations bill free and clear of any efforts to defund our executive actions.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, Mr. Secretary, thanks very much for your time this morning.

JOHNSON: Thank you very much, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We want to take a closer look now at what drives young Muslims to wage jihad and what can be done to stop them.

It's a psychological and theological battle for hearts, minds and souls. And ABC's Martha Raddatz met with a Muslims cleric on the front lines.


MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: The images are so sickening. It is hard to imagine how anyone could join the groups responsible. Yet the number of foreign nationals flooding into Iraq and Syria is at an all-time high from this young Egyptian who once had dreams of becoming a fitness instructor, now transformed into an ISIS fighter.

And it's not just young men, but young women. British authorities putting out urgent bulletins to help locate these three London schoolgirls missing and believed to be on their way to Syria.

It is a problem we saw firsthand in Jordan.

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

RADDATZ: But the call to fight is reaching back home, as well. As many as 150 Americans have tried traveling to Iraq and Syria to join radical groups there.

Last May, Florida native Moner Mohammad Abu-Salah blew himself up in Syria in an al Qaeda-affiliated suicide mission, leaving an emotional video blasting Americans for fancy amusement parks and restaurants. "I was never happy in America," he said, "life sucked."

For Imam Muhammad Maju (ph), these sentiments are chillingly familiar. At his Northern Virginia mosque, he is doing everything possible to steer young men away from extremism.

IMAM MUHAMMAD MAJU: But the same way that they can recruit people, they go to a young person who feels isolated and they tap on their shoulder and say we have your back.

RADDATZ (on camera): It's isolation?

MAJU: Yes, isolation.

RADDATZ (voice-over): He told us about one young man who ISIS was trying to recruit online. Maju (ph) got him to change his mind by convincing him ISIS was perverting Islam's true message.

(on camera): Are you confident he'll never join a group like that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm confident because his conclusion that this is not what Islam teaches.

RADDATZ: If you look at the kid in Egypt who was the bodybuilder...


RADDATZ: -- who wanted to be a fitness instructor and instead he's cutting off heads with ISIS.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But if you -- if you compare America to Europe, you will see less young people join ISIS than young persons from Europe.

RADDATZ: And that's because of integration here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. Because in America, Americans (INAUDIBLE) I think are very connected (INAUDIBLE).

RADDATZ (voice-over): Like these young men, one a member of the Boy Scouts, another a mosque youth group leader, another leading the prayers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have very welcoming communities, teaching what the real Islam is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you have people that are from all sorts of backgrounds and all sorts of religions living next to one another, they have to find a way to start accepting one another.

RADDATZ: For THIS WEEK, Martha Raddatz, ABC News, Sterling, Virginia.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And for more on this, we're joined by Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison from Minneapolis.

Also, Sasha Havlicek, the CEO of The Institute for Strategic Dialogue.

Both were at the president's summit this week.

And Congressman, let me begin with you.

The Mall of America is right by the area.

You represent a large Somali-American community. And the efforts in Minneapolis to counter their targeting of your community were really a focus of the president's summit this week.

Tell us what you're trying to do.

REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: Well, what we're trying to do is we're trying to signal to our community and young people in it that, look, this is your country. If there's anything about it you want to be better, that you can certainly get involved and get and express yourself and make a better -- a better America.

And that the -- the lure of extremism, violent extremism, is false. It's a lie. It is going to end up with you dead or in jail without ever participating in some noble cause that they're promising.

So that's the idea, to help them understand what the truth is. And that involves engagement. That involves inclusion. And that involves, I think, some resources because I can tell you this, a lot of Somalis in my district feel like there's not enough community sort -- resources. There's not enough available for them because they're working class folks and came here refugee status and fighting poverty.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Sasha Havlicek, we know that ISIL and others are sending out about 90,000 messages a day on social media. You call this the communications problem of our time.

How did they outflank us on this and how do we compete?

SASHA HAVLICEK, CEO, INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC DIALOGUE: Well, they've had about a 25 year head start. The -- the amazingly sophisticated propaganda recruitment machinery that we see hypercharged today by the digital era has been around for a very long time. These groups have understood the power of soft power for much longer than I think we have really responded in this space.

We desperately need to put credible voices out front and help them hypercharge their messaging so that it can reach the people that are at risk of this kind of propaganda and to do that at scale.

Governments are essentially ill placed to lead the battle of ideas charge. They lack the credibility.

The sorts of individuals that have the credibility have tended not to have the amplification tools...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Who are those individuals...

HAVLICEK: -- the resourcing -- the strategy behind them.

I think that there's an array of civil society actors, former extremists -- we heard the president say this himself, are extremely important in this fight. We run a global network of former extremists and victims of extremism. Their -- their narrative is extremely powerful in terms of reaching some of the people that need to be reached, but also community activists. we've heard from community leaders, from religious leaders. All of these individuals need to be out front and center. They don't often have the resourcing, the apparatus, the machinery, if you like, to do the outreach that's necessary at scale.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And finally, Congressman, how do we make the Muslim communities partner in all of this, not pariahs?

ELLISON: Well, the community wants to be partners, right?

I mean Muslims in the United States will tell you we practice Islam and our religion more freely here than anywhere in the world.

That's an important point to make -- to amplify. And I think that we've got to continue to reach out. But we've also got to be wary of something. There's a cautionary tale here, too.

In our -- we've got to not mix up surveillance and law enforcement with outreach. Outreach means there's nobody who's in trouble, there's nobody who suspected (ph) we're going to just talk to you to partner and then, on the other hand -- so -- so that's what we've got to do. We've got to adhere to our constitutional principles.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You need a bright line there.

OK, Congressman, thanks very much.

Sasha Havlicek, thank you, as well.

And coming up, Rudi Giuliani questions the president's patriotism (INAUDIBLE) question for the entire Republican field. The roundtable analyzes their revealing answers.

Plus, we're on the trail. Lindsey Graham and Bernie Sanders making their case in Iowa.

Can these long shots make a difference?

We're back in just two minutes.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Back now with our Politics Buzzboard.

At the top, the man once called America's mayor. Rudi Giuliani exploding the Internet by saying he doesn't believe President Obama loves America.

Doubling down on some fiery speeches.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a man who fights for his people, unlike our president.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And taking on those who call his attack racist -- "I thought that was a joke," he told the "New York Times," "since Obama was brought up by a white mother."

Frontrunner Jeb Bush used his first major foreign policy speech...


JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let's call it liberty diplomacy.


STEPHANOPOULOS: To declare his independence.


BUSH: I love my brother. I love my dad. But I'm my own man.


STEPHANOPOULOS: But his foreign policy team, stocked with veterans of both his father's and his brother's White House.

Which brings us to our latest contender, South Carolina's senator, Lindsey Graham. The foreign policy veteran is a long shot, but he's holding his own in his home state, on Facebook, too.

And on his first trek to Iowa this week, Graham made this pledge.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: This campaign is going to be fun. It's going to be challenging. We're going to give honest answers to hard questions.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And Senator Graham joins us now.

Thanks for joining us again, Senator.

OK, honest answers to tough questions...


STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you really think you can win the Republican nomination?

GRAHAM: I don't know yet, but I'm going to give it a try. I think I can win South Carolina or I wouldn't be talking to you. The first step into Iowa was very positive. The way a guy like me would win is to offer a form of conservatism that would be able to grow the party and be ready to be commander-in-chief on day one.

The one thing I can tell anybody in Iowa and New Hampshire and throughout the country, if I got to be president of the United States, I think I could create a pathway forward to straighten out the mess we're in. And we'll see where that goes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How about Rudy Giuliani?

Was he right to question the president's love of America?

GRAHAM: Well, I love Rudy, but I don't -- I don't want to go there. The nation's very divided. President Obama has divided us more than he's brought us together and I don't want to add to that division.

I -- I have no doubt that he loves his country. I have no doubt that he's a patriot. But his primary job as president of the United States is to defend this country and he's failing miserably.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And -- and you've said that one of our goals in this campaign is to reset the table in foreign policy.

Did Jeb Bush do that in his foreign policy speech this week?

Was anything missing?

GRAHAM: I think he gave a speech consistent with sort of the traditional view of the Republican Party. But one thing we're going to have to embrace as Republicans, it's not just enough to criticize President Obama, what would we do differently?

You know, ISIL is a direct result of bad policy choices, not leaving troops behind in Iraq, not dealing with Syria three years ago for a -- through a no-fly zone.

So at the end of the day, I want the Republican Party to talk openly about the hard things, like having boots on the ground in Syria and Iraq, American boots on the ground, as part of an international regional force to make sure we degrade and destroy all (INAUDIBLE)...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So there's no question you take that's...


STEPHANOPOULOS: --- necessary?

GRAHAM: There is no doubt in my mind militarily that we cannot succeed in our endeavors to degrade and destroy ISIL without having an American component. The regional forces in the Mideast do not have the capacity, in my view, to do the job without some American help -- forward air controllers, intelligence gathering, Special Forces, embedded trainers, probably at the battalion level. Three thousand troops in Iraq is too many to have ho -- to be hostages and I think too few to get the job done.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Also a question of what to do here in the homeland. You just heard Secretary Johnson say hew was frustrated by the House and the Senate on this issue of funding for the Department of Homeland Security.

Is this going to get resolved?

GRAHAM: Yes, it will. I agree with the Texas judge who said that the executive orders were illegal. I hope Republicans will come together and back the court case, file a friend of the court brief with the court and fund DHS. I am willing and ready to pass a DHS funding bill and let this play out in court.

The worst possible outcome for this nation is to defund the Department of Homeland Security given the multiple threats we face to our homeland. And I will not be part of that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, you won't be, but can you get it through the House?

GRAHAM: Time will tell. I hope my House colleagues will understand that our best bet is to challenge this in court, that if we don't fund the Department of Homeland Security, we'll get blamed as a party. And to anyone who is watching the world as it is, I've never seen more terrorist organizations with more safe havens, with more money, with more capability to strike the homeland than I do today. And that's a direct result of a failed foreign policy by President Obama. And the worst thing to do is add gasoline to the fire by having the Republican Party defund the Department of Homeland Security.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One final question about this potential presidential run. There's been some polling in South Carolina this week. As I showed earlier, you're -- you're leading the pack.

But the -- we -- they also asked, should you run for president, and 58 percent of South Carolina registered voters said no.

Why are the people who know you best weighing in against a run?

GRAHAM: Well, a lot of them are Democrats. They probably don't want a Republican running for president. So at the end of the day, if I didn't think I could win my home state, I wouldn't be doing this.

But I'm trying to run a campaign, if I decide to run, that will focus on securing this nation. The PAC is called Security through Strength. We've got to have a forward-leaning president. We've got to have the lines of defenses over there so the war doesn't come here.

And when it comes to our $18 trillion national debt, somebody has got to get Republicans and Democrats in a room and do what Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill did to deal with our entitlement problems, fix immigration rather than yell about it. I think I've got a record that shows I'm willing to work with Democrats.

But when it comes to foreign policy, I've been more right than wrong the last three years. And I've never been more worried about my country than I am today in terms of radical Islam. And yes, it is radical Islam. People in Iowa understood radical Islam is the source of the problem here.

They've adopted a theory of religion that's 1,000 years old that requires a worldwide caliphate that will purify the Islamic religion, kill or convert every Christian and Jew and vegetarian in their way. And they're not going to stop unless somebody stops them.

And we need to get this right.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Graham, we'll see you on the trail.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And when we come back, the roundtable weighs in on Rudy and the GOP field.

Is Jeb Bush now clearly the man to beat?

And is a socialist senator from Brooklyn and Burlington ready to take on Hillary?

We're on the trail with Bernie Sanders in Iowa and back in just two minutes.


GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: The mayor can speak for himself. I'm not going to comment on whether -- what the president thinks or not.



SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I think it's a mistake to question people's motives.



SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Democrats aren't asked to answer every time Joe Biden says something embarrassing. So I don't know why I should answer every time a Republican does.

I believe the president loves America. I just think his ideas are bad.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Boy, Rudy Giuliani stirring things up this week.

Let's talk about it on the roundtable.

I'm joined by Bill Kristol, editor of "The Weekly Standard." Congressman Keith Ellison is back with us. Also Amy Chozick from "The New York Times." You're on the Hillary beat for the paper. And Joe Klein from "Time" magazine.

Welcome back to all of you.

And Bill, let me begin with you.

Boy, Rudy Giuliani, as I said, stirring things up, questioning the president's love of country, doubling down on that, as well.

What is he up to?

BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": I think he's just driving the liberal media into a frenzy and, you know, and having fun doing so. I don't know. I think he just said what he believes and then he decided that he believed it so he wasn't going to apologize for it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Joe Klein, we saw Scott Walker trying to make the point that all the Republican candidates shouldn't have to be asked this question on principle, but then saying he doesn't know whether President Obama is a Christian.

Is he trying to play a double game here?

JOE KLEIN, "TIME" MAGAZINE: I think he's trying to send -- send some different messages. And I think that, you know, with Rudy and also with a lot of the other wild statements we've been seeing from Republicans lately, it really works to their disadvantage in the end, because one thing I know over 11 presidential campaigns is that people don't like to elect an angry president or an angry party.

And they sound very angry. When they...

STEPHANOPOULOS: They do -- they do sound angry, Keith Ellison. But, you know, the point that Marco Rubio was making there, and I guess the point that Scott Walker was trying to make is that there does seem to be a little bit of a double standard here. The Republicans tend to get asked these questions about their outliers more than Democrats are.

REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: Oh, I don't agree with that. You know, people are always being asked about what somebody else said. But I have to tell you this, the president definitely is a great lover of America. I mean so much so that 11 million Americans got health care who never had it before. That's pragmatic love of country, when you do things for your countrymen and women.

So I don't know. I think that the president's an amazing patriot and one of the best presidents I think our country has -- will ever have seen.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Amy, one of the things we saw this week was -- one of the people we didn't see this week was Hillary Clinton speaking out on Rudy Giuliani. She's going to stay way out of that.

AMY CHOZICK, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Oh, she's going to stay out of that. You know, the Republicans are saying it's Hillary in hiding. She hasn't commented on much of anything lately, though she does have a lot more public events coming up in March. She has a speech on Tuesday in California for a women's conference. So she might be pushed to comment a little bit more aggressively on some of these things.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We'll talk more about the Democrats in a little bit.

But I want to get back to the Republicans. And Bill Kristol, we saw Jeb Bush come out this week with that major foreign policy speech, his first foreign policy speech. But it did seem like the most important message he was trying to convey was that line, "I am my own man." He keeps coming back to that in every policy speech.

KRISTOL: Yeah, I personally of course love in a way watching (inaudible) this week maybe yearn for the Giuliani candidacy again. Can we have a little pot stirring? A little excitement? Jeb gave such an earnest, dutiful, 35 minute speech on foreign policy.

Look, he's got -- I think he's wise to say I'm my own man, but eventually it's going to be about what his agenda is, obviously, and the same is true for Scott Walker and Marco Rubio and the others.

And I would say the big picture for -- Jeb is doing fantastically well with donors, but I don't think he is particularly doing better with voters than Scott Walker or several other candidates at this point.

And I'm struck just this weekend talking to a few donor types, there's a fair amount of hesitancy, a little more -- I mean, they did a great job of rolling him out and making him seem inevitable. But I don't think he quite feels this inevitable as they hoped he would at this point.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're right. Things are bunched up in Iowa and New Hampshire, even South Carolina, we saw. But it does appear that Jeb Bush has certainly crowded out Mitt Romney for now and seems to be doing the same thing to Chris Christie.

KLEIN: Well, he's running a really radical, exciting campaign, Bill, I believe. I've read the three big speeches he gave this winter. And there aren't very many policy details -- you don't expect them. But there is a character detail that is shocking for me for a Republican in recent history...

KRISTOL: What's that?

KLEIN: Moderation. He...

KRISTOL: This is the kiss of death.


KRISTOL: Jeb Bush's team is watching this now and saying oh my god.

KLEIN: I'm sorry, Governor Bush, but he actually praised Barack Obama for his policy in the Baltics in that foreign policy speech. And he showed a really firm knowledge of how the world works and what it's like. He doesn't make crazy statements about vaccinations or evolution. He's a conservative, there is no question about that, but he's civil.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, you say there's not question about him being a conservative and Bill Kristol I want to bring this back to you, because I think it is true that Jeb Bush is trying to run this campaign where he holds the middle as long as he possibly can to make himself viable in the general election, but he's going to face a lot of questions on Common Core, a lot of questions on immigration. And many of his opponents say, no, he's not a true conservative.

KRISTOL: I really do feel a little tired of the campaign already, and that's a terrible thing to say because it's February of 2015 and we have to talk about it for another year in the primaries and then the general election.

I wish they would just say what they want to do on behalf of the country on all these issues. There's so much positioning and so many of their staff talking about, well, he's going to go a little bit to the center on this, but he'll take care of the right on that. And I really do think -- I know this is a cliche anyway -- voters would like it if a candidate just said, look, here's what I think about the following ten crucial issues facing the country at home and abroad. You make up your mind if you agree with me or not. And I'm not going to spend a huge amount of time thinking hard about how I'm going to get a little bit to the center of this issue and a little bit to the right on that one.

KLEIN: I just disagree about that. I think -- I've seen so many politicians issue so many position papers during campaigns that they completed ignored when they got into office.

I think the most important thing you learn during a campaign, usually learn during the debates, is the quality of the humanity of the candidate. Is he or she smart? Is he or she stable? Is he or she angry? That's what people really are looking for.

ELLISON: You know, I think the biggest reason that Jeb Bush wants to be his own man is because of the complete debacle of the Bush Iraq policy. I mean, we cannot forget that we are in the space we're in now because of that invasion that was based on falsehoods in every single conceivable way. And the tremendous loss of money and treasure and blood. And of course he wants to try to escape that legacy.

CHOZICK: But then he laid out a policy, a very muscular policy agenda that sounded a lot like his brother's.

ELLISON: I'm not like him, but I am kind of like him.

CHOZICK: He supported NSA surveillance. He called for increased funding in the Pentagon. I mean here he is saying I am my own man, and then he laid out a speech that sounded you know a lot like his brother.

KRISTOL: Well, those are good policies.

I mean, this is silly the whole...

ELLISON: Iraq is a good policy?

KRISTOL: The Iraq war -- more spending on defense and defending the NSA program I think is a good policy. And that's what the campaign is going to be about, you know, let Jeb Bush defend the NSA. Let Rand Paul attack it. And let's see what people think.

But all this talk about is he more like his father, is he more like his brother, I think that stuff is going to disappear.

ELLISON: No, I think we cannot escape how much damage that Iraq policy of George W. Bush did to this country. And of course...

KRISTOL: When George W. Bush left office, Iraq was safe and peaceful thanks to the surge.

ELLISON: No, no. Actually, there was always rumblings and danger in that place. It was a...

KLEIN: Well, thanks to Maliki, the Sunnis were being alienated. And that's nothing that we had anything to do with.

CHOZICK: But that's also shadowing Hillary Clinton again and her Iraq War vote.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And we are going to get to that after this break.

CHOZICK: Always backing Hillary.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ...Bernie Sanders, Hillary and the roundtable.

And now our powerhouse puzzler inspired by today's 35th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice. Here's Team USA captain Mike Eruzione.


MIKE ERUZIONE, FRM OLYMPIAN: Hi, George. Here's the question, in the 1980 Olympic Games in Lake Placid, after the United States defeated the Soviet Union, what country did they have to play in order to win the gold medal?"


STEPHANOPOULOS: OK. We'll ave the answer in two minutes.

ANNOUNCER: This Week with George Stephanopoulos brought to you by BBO.


STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, which country did the U.S. beat to win the 1980 Olympic hockey gold medal. Bill Kristol?

Sweden? Sweden?

KLEIN: You just copied off of Bill.

CHOZICK: I was going to copy Bill, but I...

STEPHANOPOULOS: You weren't even born, so yeah...


STEPHANOPOULOS: No, you guys are all wrong. Close though, Finland.

CHOZICK: Finland.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We'll be right back.


STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the only potential threats to Hillary Clinton's nomination isn't even a member of the Democratic Party.

He calls himself a democratic socialist. Knows he's a long shot, but there he was in Iowa this week trying to fire up voters and push Hillary with some unapologetic populism.

ABC's David Wright joined him on the trail.


DAVID WRIGHT, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: He rolls up in a muscle car, a Dodge Challenger.

That's quite the ride you've got there.

This presidential challenger, like the car, not standard issue on the campaign trail.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) VERMONT: The United States government has got to start working for the middle class and working families of this country and not just for millionaires and billionaires.

WRIGHT: Out on the stump, he doesn't mention Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush. For now, he's running against the Koch brothers.

SANDERS: It is likely within a very short period of time that the Koch brothers themselves will have a stronger political presence than either the Democratic or the Republican Party.

WRIGHT: Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont as unabashedly progressive as Ben & Jerry's.

So fifth trip to Iowa. Are you in or are you out?

SANDERS: Before I make that decision, I have to develop a sense in my own gut as to whether or not there is the grass roots support across this country.

WRIGHT: Sanders rails against the corrupting influence of money in politics. He stands for economic justice.

SANDERS: I am prepared to take on the billionaire class.

WRIGHT: He's not just for raising the minimum wage, he wants to double it.

Sanders is neither a Democrat nor a Republican. He's a Democratic Socialist, the longest serving independent member of congress, 24 years.

How in practical terms would a Sanders candidacy work? Would you run as a Democrat?

SANDERS: I don't want to say that. You know, the fact that I'm in Iowa, which is a caucus state, maybe speaks for itself. But I haven't made that final decision. And I've got to tell you a lot of my strong supports say Bernie stay out of the damn Democratic Party. Run as an independent.

WRIGHT: I read that you carry a Eugene V. Debs key chain. Is that true?

Eugene V. Debs ran for president five times on the socialist ticket.

SANDERS: So there it is. The rumor was true.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They want somebody to come out here and challenge Clinton. And he is the person that arrived on the stage to do that.

WRIGHT: Many of those voters passionately agree with him.

I mean, is he sort of Don Quixote at this point, tilting at windmills?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is he Don Quixote? Hey, more power to him. He's going to get that windmill straightened up for sure.

WRIGHT: Do you think this is a winnable fight?

SANDERS: That's fair question. And, you know, that's exactly what is wrestling in my mind. I don't want to tilt at windmills. I mean, I got so muchto do. But i just think out there, there are so many people who are hurting, so many people who are disillusioned, so many people are really viscerally upset that they are working hours for low wages and the billionaires are getting richer. And they need a voice.

WRIGHT: Senator Bernie Sanders, hoping to be their man.

For This Week, David Wright, ABC News, Des Moines.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And we are back now with the roundtable. I want to start out with Amy Chozick. Of course you're reporting on the Hillary campaign. When they see Bernie Sanders, when they hear the talk about Elizabeth Warren who certainly appears like she's not going to run. We see Jim Webb out there. How do they feel about the potential for a challenge? And do they wish there was more of one?

CHOZICK: I think they do. Certainly not one anyone as formidable as Obama. But, you know, I think that she does need a necessary foil. She needs someone who could maybe push her, especially as Bernie Sanders could, on these economic issues -- inequality, Wall Street. Issues that portions of the Democratic Party still feel like she is too centrist or not addressing in the same way that Elizabeth Warren has -- especially inequality. I think it's the fundamental policy question of Hillary Clinton's campaign.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And congressman, you, of course, care about that issue deeply as well. Do you feel, you know, like the Democrats are missing a bet by not having more people out there pushing this on the campaign trail?

ELLISON: I think we need a robust debate within. And I think that it's dangerous for Hillary Clinton to go straight into a general without any kind of a tuneup.

And here's the main thing, Bernie Sanders is right. Americans are hurting. This inequality thing is dangerous and harmful and it undermines the promise of America being a land of opportunity. Somebody has got to speak up for this issue. I hope he does. And I hope that Hillary Clinton does, too.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm watching Bill Kristol smile right now.

ELLISON: But I like our problem. Our problem is who can represent working people's interests better? The Republicans are all fighting for who can represent the Koch brothers better.

CHOZICK: They're talking about inequality.

ELLISON: Yeah, well, you know. And they're the top end of that equation.

KRISTOL: Bernie Sanders, a Democratic Socialist from Vermont, isn't a credible opponent to Hillary Clinton, but Keith would be. I mean you -- a good-looking, 51-year-old congressman from the Midwest. Working class. You know, you just said it would be healthy for the party, right.

CHOZICK: Bipartisan appeal.

KRISTOL: Joe supports Jeb Bush. I support Keith Ellison.

ELLISON: Bill Kristol is my supporter.

KLEIN: I think that she needs the challenge. I would like to see it from someone like Elizabeth Warren who really can explain the financial issues.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But she's made it clear that's not going to happen.

KLEIN: But it's not going to happen. And I think it's, you know, to Hillary's detriment.

But I also think that the Democratic Party's problem is not what you just said, it's the perception among the public that the Democrats are the party of the government rather than of the middle class.

KRISTOL: They could be the party of government of Wall Street at the same time.

And this is Hillary Clinton's problem. She is for big government and she is for big banks and she's for Goldman Sachs and Wall Street.

And I -- look, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, those are working class, middle class guys. A Walker-Rubio ticket, or a Rubio-Walker ticket, that looks good against Hillary Clinton. They want to fight for middle class families, Keith.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And Amy, from what you're seeing, how is the Clinton campaign planning on getting around this problem? You know, this whole -- the dead broke issue that came up during the book tour last year, that she's sort of been disengaged from working people for a long time.

CHOZICK: Well, it's fascinating. She's talked to over 200 policy experts about how to craft this economic message. And I think those debates, sort of thinking outside the Summers, Rubin's school of economic policy, looking at how to address anger over inequality, which is sort of not the Clintons' comfort zone, it's a fundamental challenge right now. And that's why she has met with Elizabeth Warren. She has met with all these people trying to come up with policies.

And I think policy-wise, she's trying to distance herself from the dead broke, the paid speeches.

KRISTOL: What about that. Can I ask what about the paid -- I am a little amazed by that. She's running for president. She has a chance to be presidentof the United States and she's quite wealthy. And still giving the paid speeches. The Clinton Foundation is still accepting money from foreign governments.

Honestly, and this is an honest question. Isn't that a little odd?

CHOZICK: I can tell you what they would say. I mean, that it's expensive to be a Clinton. She's taken on more personal staff. She's paying her personal staff out of her own pocket.


CHOZICK: I'm just saying telling you. I'm just saying.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's all we have time for. You did give their answer right there. Thank you all very much.

When we come back, should America atone for past sins on race by paying reparations? Or is it better together by getting over white guilt? That debate next with Ta-Nehisi Coates and Shelby Steele.



OBAMA: So many of the disparities that exist between the African-American community and the larger American community today can be traced directly to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Barack Obama called that legacy America's original sin back in 2008. And just this week, Ta-Nehisi Coates won a prestigious George W. Polks Award for his Atlantic cover story "The Case for Reparations," a provocative call for our country to expiate that sin with a kind of penance, Dramatic government action to close the gap between whites and blacks.

But in his new book, "Shame," Shelby Steele says that kind of thinking perpetuates a deep problem, by focusing too much on how government can atone for our past sins, he argues, liberals have quote damaged the black family more profoundly than segregation ever did.

And both men are here now to take on that debate. Ta-Nehisi, let me begin with you. You write that reparations is the price we must pay to see ourselves squarely. Why?

TA-NEHISI COATES, THE ATLANTIC: Well, because history matters. It's pretty clear to us that George Washington matters. We all get together and celebrate on July 4th, independence. We're all very proud of our legacy, our history. We all talk about America's great legacy as a democratizing force in the world. We talk about the greatest generation in World War II. We have a problem talking about history when it disadvantages us. And I think any sort of full consideration of patriotism in this country can't just talk about history when it favors us, we have to talk about it when it disfavors us.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Shelby Steele, you have argued in the past that the problem for reparations it would be trading honor for dollars, selling our birthright for a pot of porridge. What did you mean by that?

SHELBY STEELE, WRITER: Yes, you know, I think there's a problem of dependency that -- where we have sort of allowed that to happen in our community, to be more dependent, interdependent. And that's hurt a great deal.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How do you answer the argument that Mr. Steele makes in his book, Ta-Nehisi, that this government action has divided us more than ever before, done more harm than good for African-Americans.

COATES: Well, I look forward to Mr. Steele's book. I haven't gotten a chance to have gotten a copy yet.

But I think I'm a little familiar with the argument. And what I would say he's correct, government action has divided us, but I don't think it's the government action that has divided us is the taxes that were put on African-American labor during enslavement. I think it's the red-lining period where we effectively erected a white middle class in this country and declined to do the same thing with black people and effectively left them out for unscrupulous lenders to take advantage of.

I think it's the criminal justice policy in this country, which sees African-American men, who construe some minuscule portion of the world's population and yet 8 percent of the enslaved population.

We definitely have government policies that divide us. I don't think it's the ones that Mr. Steele was talking about, though.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What's the answer to that?

STEELE: The answer to that, you know, was -- one is can be tempted into arrogance there.

But the answer, I think, for the most part, is, again, this idea that -- this fact, really, that we have become more dependent as a result of the efforts on the part of white Americans to sort of do well by us, to do the good, to be helpful and to make up for the shame of the past.

And that sort of thinking, I think, is what's caused us the difficult...


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- government action is not the answer, how do you close this gap, this huge gap in wealth between whites and blacks?

STEELE: You don't. You don't close it. You don't do anything. You leave it -- you leave it alone. You practice a, as best as possible, a discipline of freedom where every -- where you have -- struggle is not for some sort of advantage, but your struggle is for freedom itself.

And that's how -- that's what you, I think, do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Leave it alone?

COATES: I'm sorry, that's just completely untenable to me, the gap that you're talking about, for every five cents in wealth that African-Americans have, white families have $1 in wealth. There's a 20 to one gap.

STEELE: But you have to understand...

COATES: That gap is...


COATES: -- that gap didn't get there by magic. That gap is the result of housing policy that we had in this country, a long, long policy of taking wealth out of African-American communities and putting them elsewhere. And it has real consequences.

I grew up in a neighborhood in West Baltimore where every day, I went to school and at least a third of my brain was occupied with the safety of my body. That's the result of that community being rendered in a certain way for a long time in our history.

And so just leaving it alone and sort of cast young black boys and young black girls who are going to schools like I went to as a child and just says, hey, go out there and cope, I just -- I -- that's untenable to me.

STEELE: I want you to know, sir, I went to those kind of schools, too, worse. Worse. That was in the days of segregation.

And, again, the -- you know, there's this sort of compounding effect where we, I call it characterological racism, where we see racism as un -- as you do, I think, as immobile, immovable. And the result of that, again, is more dependency.

COATES: I see it as totally movable.


COATES: I see it totally movable.

STEELE: And the point is, is that we're -- it's -- it ain't going to move. We're -- it is what it is and it's not going to change. It's not going to go away. We need to get about the business of making our own lives as best we can. And...

STEPHANOPOULOS: About as deep a disagreement as I've seen.

I'm afraid that's all we have time for right now.

And when we come back, a look back at that miracle on ice after this from our ABC stations.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Check out the celebration in Lake Placid on Saturday marking that amazing moment 35 years ago today when America's ragtag Olympic hockey team stunned the Soviet juggernaut and sent a jolt of joy all across America with an upset for the ages.

ABC's Ryan Smith puts that miracle on ice in our Sunday Spotlight.


RYAN SMITH, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the height of the cold war.

PETER JENNINGS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: The Soviets ignored President Carter's deadline for a troop withdrawal.

SMITH: Tensions soaring, but for two weeks in 1980, the entire world shifted focus to a remote town in Upstate New York...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --- of these 13th Games of winter.

SMITH: -- where the U.S. hockey team would carve out a surprising spot in Olympic history.

AL MICHAELS, SPORTS ANNOUNCER: Well, the Soviets were the hosts of their country, but they were always big favorites. So everybody expected them to win.

SMITH: Legendary sports announcer Al Michaels remembers the Lake Placid Games were in the cold war's shadow from the start.

MICHAELS: What better place to play out a cold war than on a sheet of ice in Lake Placid, New York.

SMITH: But for U.S. team captain, Mike Eruzione, the focus was only on the game.

MIKE EURZIONE, CAPTAIN, 1980 U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM: For us, it was still a hockey game. It had nothing to do with what was happening globally. But the crowd, their reaction was us against them, freedom versus communism, the threat of a cold war.

MICHAELS: Once we did get to the middle round, it was like one day of oh, my god, the United States is playing the Soviets. And then I think the political aspect came into play even more.

SMITH: Still, the odds weren't on the Americans' side until they dropped the puck.

MICHAELS: When they tied the game 3-3 in the third period, now you're thinking well, wait a minute, anything can happen.


MICHAELS: And Mike Eruzione scores with 10 minutes to go. Now it's 4-3. Now it's like what am -- what are we seeing here?

Can this really be?

SMITH: As the clock wound down, those final seconds of an improbable American win became an iconic moment in sports and U.S. history. Al Michaels captured it in one of the greatest calls ever.

MICHAELS: Five seconds left in the game.

Do you believe in miracles?Yes!


MICHAELS: The word that came into my head was miraculous. And miraculous got morphed into a question and there you have it. That just came out of my heart, as simple as that.

ERUZIONE: And I kept saying I can't believe we beat the Russians, I can't believe we beat the Russians. And the celebration was incredible.

MICHAELS: After that game, it made you want to hug your television set. I mean it just made the country feel so much better about itself.

SMITH: The game forever dubbed the miracle on ice, a win for the ages spanning beyond sports.

MICHAELS: It's so different than so many other things that we remember. If you're old enough, you remember Pearl Harbor, JFK's assassination. We knew where we were when the Challenger blew up in 1986. And obviously, we all remember September 11th, 2001. Those were all terrible events.

When you think back to Lake Placid, it's a beautiful event. So it's one of those things where people say yes, I remember where I was and they do it with a big smile on their face. That's a different deal.

SMITH: For THIS WEEK, Ryan Smith, ABC News, New York.


STEPHANOPOULOS: That game was so much fun.

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

That's all for us today.

Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us.


Then, all our Oscar coverage, starting at 7:00 Eastern, with a red carpet special. And I'll be joining our whole GMA team in LA for our special Oscar show tomorrow.

See you then.