'This Week' Transcript: Gov. Chris Christie

The New Jersey governor discusses the 2016 race

ByABC News
June 14, 2015, 9:53 AM



ANNOUNCER: Starting right now on ABC's THIS WEEK...


ANNOUNCER: Hillary's relaunch.


Thank you.

ANNOUNCER: Revealing a new strategy and the personal story she says is behind her run.

But will it be enough this time?

We're with Hillary 2.0, campaigning this morning in Iowa.

Christie's comeback -- down in the polls, can his big new push on the trail help him break through?

Our exclusive interview with Chris Christie.

Plus, inside ISIS world -- the stunning new video of ISIS on the rampage, terrifying Iraqis far from the battle zone.

And the White House's major new move against the terror group.

Are American boots going to the front lines?




Welcome to a big week in politics. Hillary Clinton's relaunch rally Saturday. Jeb Bush makes it official tomorrow. Even Donald Trump is set for an announcement Tuesday and Chris Christie is standing by live right now for our exclusive interview.

First, here's ABC's Cecilia Vega on the trail with Hillary in Iowa -- good morning, Cecilia.


Good morning to you.

Boy, if this campaign didn't feel official before, it certainly does now. Hillary Clinton landing here in Iowa just hours after giving her first major stump speech of this campaign.


VEGA (voice-over): Hillary Clinton kicking off her presidential campaign once again. The first rally of her 2016 White House bid, a chance for the former first lady turned secretary of State turned two time presidential contender to reintroduce herself.

CLINTON: I think you know by now that I've been called many things by many people. Winner is not one of them.

VEGA: Husband Bill and daughter Chelsea joining her center stage as Clinton got political...

CLINTON: We can't stand by while inequality increases, wages stagnate and the promise of America dims.

VEGA: -- personal...

CLINTON: My mother taught me that everybody needs a chance and a champion. By 14, she was out on her own working as a house maid.

VEGA: -- and went hard on policy.

CLINTON: We should offer hardworking, law-abiding immigrant families a path to citizenship.

VEGA: Clinton saying she has made mistakes, but not directly addressing those controversies hanging over her campaign, like those e-mails. A recent poll showing a majority of Americans, 52 percent, do not see Hillary Clinton as honest and trustworthy.

Democratic challengers are stepping up the fight. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders on Saturday in Iowa, calling out Clinton for still not taking sides in key fights, like the trade deal that Democrats in Congress just helped defeat.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't understand how you don't have a position.

VEGA: Overnight, Clinton landing in the Hawkeye State, too, testing out her new stump speech on the road.

CLINTON: I want to work with you to build an economy that works for everyone.

VEGA: And Clinton headlines to a number of other swing states after Iowa. She is really trying to cement this image of herself as a fighter for the middle class.

And the one thing she is not shying away from this time around, as she did in 2008, is her gender. She told that crowd yesterday that while she may not be the youngest candidate in this race, she would be the youngest female president -- George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And the first grandmother.

OK, Cecilia, thanks very much.

That brings us to our exclusive interview with the Republican who guarantees he can beat Hillary, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I love you, New Jersey.

Thank you very much.

STEPHANOPOULOS: After his big reelection in 2013, he had the hot hand. But all that changed after Bridge Gate.

CHRISTIE: I am embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my team.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Now Christie is on the comeback trail -- Iowa, South Carolina, New Hampshire.

CHRISTIE: You're all going to see a lot of me.

STEPHANOPOULOS: With some tough love for fellow Republicans...

CHRISTIE: My party, quite frankly, has been guilty, in some respects, of speaking in a way that doesn't sound very welcoming.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Striking specifics on topics like Social Security and a promise to run his own way.

CHRISTIE: You never have to wonder, ever have to wonder what I'm thinking and what I'm feeling.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And Governor Christie joins us now.

Welcome back to THIS WEEK.

CHRISTIE: Thanks, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you saw Hillary Clinton yesterday. She said all the Republican candidates are singing the same song, "Yesterday."

What song did you hear from her?

CHRISTIE: Listen, first off, I thought that Elizabeth Warren wasn't running for president. But when I listened to Hillary yesterday, it sounds like liberal political consultants put together that speech.

I think in -- it raises a bigger point for Secretary Clinton. I've done 146 town hall meetings in the last five years in New Jersey and around the country. Mrs. Clinton doesn't hear from anybody. She doesn't talk to anybody. She doesn't take questions from anybody.

How would she know what real Americans are really concerned about?

I -- I don't know.

Is it the, you know, when she's out giving paid speeches?

I don't understand when she would know what she was saying yesterday about real Americans.

How would she know?

STEPHANOPOULOS: So the gloves are off, I can see that right now.

One of her biggest applause lines yesterday, when she talked about Americans going to college without drowning in debt, the other Democratic candidates have already come after debt-free college education.

You took on that idea this week on your visit to Iowa.

What is wrong with it and what's your alternative?

CHRISTIE: My alternative is we have to start to put market forces on these college costs. George, you know, I pay for two college tuitions right now, one at Princeton and one at Notre Dame. And I can tell you that they're the most opaque bills you'll ever see in your life.

If you got that bill for dinner with that little of that detail, you wouldn't pay it. You'd send it back.

Yet for college, we pay it.

They need to start telling us exactly what they're spending their money on, the money we give them.

And secondly, we need to start to say unbundle that. So if a child doesn't want to pay for all of these different things in college, they should be able to select it. That will tell colleges what they don't need to provide and we shouldn't have to pay for the things that we don't want to use.

That will help to contain costs.

But the idea of free college for everybody, there's nothing free in this world. We need to earn what we get.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you even pointed out -- you know, you talked about your dad and what he got on the G.I. Bill. Studies show that there's a seven to one return on that kind of an investment.

Why not for all Americans?

CHRISTIE: Listen, it is available for all Americans, George. We have grant programs that are very broadly used. We have loan programs that are very broadly used. And by the way, my dad went for six years again night. He worked all day to help to put himself through college.

So it wasn't that the G.I. Bill did everything for my father, it helped. It helped for certain. And we should still provide those type of benefits for folks.

But my dad also worked every day for six years to get his degree, all day and then went to school at night.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You told Hugh Hewitt that if you run, you will beat Hillary Clinton.

So what is holding you back from running right now?

CHRISTIE: Oh, I've got a day job, you know, George, running a significant state with a lot -- a lot of back and forth. You know, I have a -- a Democratic legislature that I have to work with, and it's not always the easiest thing to do in the world. And we've got a budget to finish by June 30th.

We just won a major court decision supporting the pension reforms that we put into place in 2011.

So I've got to keep my eye on my day job.

But as I said, you know, last week, the fact is, that this decision is now up to me. I'll make it during the month of June and then I'll let everybody know. I'm no wallflower. I'll let folks know what I'm going to be.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The last time around, you said you weren't ready to be president. Jeb Bush is getting in tomorrow.

What do you offer that he doesn't?

CHRISTIE: Well, listen, one thing is just what I talked about, you know, I've worked with a legislature of the other party for the last nearly six years now. And we've had some significant accomplishments, along with significant agreements.

You need to learn how to do that if you're going to be in Washington, DC.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Did that as a governor, didn't he?

CHRISTIE: No, he had a legislature of his own party, George. It's a much different thing. And -- and listen, I -- I have great respect for Jeb. He was a very good governor. But if you're asking one of the things that makes me different is I think I'm combat-ready for Washington, DC and you need to be in order to know how to work with people, how to bring people together. I've done that in New Jersey in a way that lets me get 61 percent of the vote for reelection.

The fact is that people know I know how to bring folks together and how to fight when I need to. And I think sometimes with folks who are in red states, they don't have as much experience with that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're also laying down some policy markers already, particularly on Social Security. Uncalled for means-testing benefits, raising the retirement age.

Mike Huckabee, in his announcement, said those ideas are disastrous politics, disastrous for seniors.

Take a look.


MIKE HUCKABEE (R-AK), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As president, I promise you will get what you paid for. Because how can anyone ever trust government again if they steal from us and lie to us?


STEPHANOPOULOS: What's your response?

CHRISTIE: The stealing and the lying already happen. And...


CHRISTIE: -- what -- well, all throughout the system. You know, this idea that Al Gore talked about 15 years ago of a lockbox. That's not true. And the fact is that 71 percent of federal expenditures now in the budget are on entitlement programs.

And so what I'd say to Governor Huckabee or anybody else that takes that position is, which of the other two alternatives are you for?

Insolvency or a massive tax increase on the American people?

We need to have reform of these programs. And the kind of reforms I'm talking about, George, are not going to stop the world from spinning on its axis. You know, raising the retirement age two years and phasing it in over the next 25? Or saying the folks...

STEPHANOPOULOS: For people who do blue collar work, that can be tough.

CHRISTIE: Over 25 years, George? You know, with the advances we've had both in the quality of life and the length of life, that's not a lot.

And secondly, we're talking about means testing for people who have over $200,000 in retirement income -- retirement income. For them to say you don't really need to take a Social Security check, to make sure that it's there to ensure that no elderly in our country grow old in poverty, I think that's the kind of thing the American people will support.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, you've also said in your speeches you're not a flip flopper. But let's talk about immigration a little bit. Back on this program, back in 2010, you called for a path to citizenship.


CHRISTIE: The president and the congress have to step up to the plate. They have to secure our borders and they have to put forward a common sense path to citizenship for people.


STEPHANOPOULOS: But last month you called that an extreme position. That's a pretty big flip from common sense to extreme.

CHRISTIE: And it's also five-and-a-half years of watching what's happened in this country, George.

You know, what we can't be as leaders is slaves to the idea that as circumstances change, we're not going to look at that and evaluate it. And circumstances have changed.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is it the politics that have changed?

CHRISTIE: No, the politics were the same back then. The politics were the same back then, and the president back then was promising with a Democratic congress that he was going to fix immigration. He never did it. So it's no the politics that have changed, the politics are just as difficult today as they were in 2010.

Circumstances on the ground have changed. And we need to be smart about that. And you need to be able to adjust.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's talk about Bridgegate a little bit, because there's no question it was a big political hit. And you still have more than half the Republicans in New Jersey, according to a recent poll saying you haven't been completely honest. What do you say to them and other potential supporters who are worried about this issue?

CHRISTIE: Well, I say to them, listen, there's been three independent investigations now all of whom come to the same conclusion that I had nothing to do with it, no knowledge of it, didn't direct it and didn't have anything to do with it.

So, at some point, you know, the saturation coverage that the media has given this affects people. But over time people will come to know that when you've had three different investigations, one by a partisan Democratic legislature who would have loved to come up with a different conclusion, one by the federal prosecutors and one internal investigation that we ran, and all came to the same conclusion? I think it's time to move on.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's talk about Iraq and the fight against ISIS. We saw President Obama announcing 450 more troops to Iraq this week, considering even expanding that even further. Some of your potential Republican opponents like Lindsey Graham and Rick Santorum say we need 10,000 troops on the ground. Are they right?

CHRISTIE: I don't think they're right at the moment, no. I think what we need to do, and this has been one of the failings of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy, is we need to have our allies trusting us again in the Middle East who want to bring this fight -- the Saudis, the Emirates, the Jordanians, the Egyptians, they want to bring the fight to ISIS.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The Iraqis don't seem to eager for this fight.

CHRISTIE: Well, listen, you know, we've got to put together a coalition of the willing, which has been used before, George, and used successfully in that region. And what we need to do is to help to arm those folks, help to make sure we train them all the way down to the battalion level, get more human intelligence on the ground so that we make sure we're targeting the right things when targeting ISIS, and also prepare the American people for the fact that this is not going to be easy, and it's going to be long.

But I don't believe now the idea of putting 10,000 troops on the ground is what we need to do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you're not ruling it out?

CHRISTIE: Well, you can never rule anything out. I think that's the kind of uninformed foreign policy if you rule anything out. And what you need to do now, though, is we need to make sure that the folks who are most threatened by ISIS at the moment, which are the folks in the region who want to fight it, that we help to make them the best prepared fighters they can be to take the fight to ISIS. That will give us the best chance of having it not come back here.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, before we go, your buddy Donald Trump says he's making an announcement on Tuesday. Do you think he'll be a serious candidate for president if he runs?

CHRISTIE: Listen, Donald is a serious guy and he's been a good friend of mine over the years, and only Donald is going to be able to determine whether he wants to really be a candidate and really push. If he does, Donald's been able to sell almost anything over the course of time. And the fact is you have to take him seriously if he decides to run.

We'll see what happens, though. I like him. He's a good friend. He's been a good friend to me and Mary Pat over the years. We'll see what happens.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Looking forward to taking him on?

CHRISTIE: Well, listen, if I decide to get into this race, George, I'll take anybody on. I think you know that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, Governor Christie. Thanks very much for joining us.

You're going leave now. We're going to bring in from the Clinton camp top strategist Joel Benenson. Come on in, Joel. We're sharing the desk space. Thank you for coming in.

You just heard Governor Christie who said that Hillary Clinton is running as Elizabeth Warren.

JOEL BENENSON, CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST, HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN: Well, look, Governor Christie should be focusing on running his campaign. I think what Senator Clinton -- Secretary Clinton said yesterday is laying out her vision, her values and her agenda for America.

These are things she's been fighting for her whole life. She's been fighting for children, families. And yesterday she said we need to create an economy where every day Americans and their family get ahead, where we build an economy that's built by all and prosperity is shared by all, and that people get real rewards for the work they put in.

That's the kind of vision she laid out. Those the values she's been fighting for her whole life. I think Governor Christie probably knows that and he's very good on the stump. And he's very direct when he makes his points.

STEPHANOPOULOS: A lot of policies from Secretary Clinton yesterday, but notably in its absence, no mention of that big vote on Capitol Hill this week for trade promotion authority, big defeat for President Obama at the hands of Democrats. Bernie Sanders, other Democrats saying it's time for Secretary Clinton to take a stand.

BENENSON: Well, look, Secretary Clinton has been very clear that what matters is what's in the final deal. And there is no final trade pact yet.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But there's a vote now on the floor.

BENENSON: There's a lot of congressional jockeying going on right now over things like TAA and TPP, acronyms that no voter understands. Democrats...

STEPHANOPOULOS: No, but it's pretty simplistic -- whether or not the president should have the authority to negotiate. Is she for that or against it?

BENENSON: No, the simple issue, George, was Secretary Clinton has said is the simple issue is in the final deal will we have the labor protections we need to protect American jobs and protect our wages? Will it protect our national security? Will it address issues like currency manipulation, environmental protection and labor rights overseas. That's what's going to matter. That's what the simple issue is. And that deal doesn't exist yet.

So, a lot of jockeying about bills that Democrats used to support 100 percent and now for some procedural reason in Congress they're voting against it. I think they'll have to explain that to each other as they're haggling here over what the final package is going to be.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But does she believe the president should have the authority, the fast track authority to negotiate now?

BENENSON: I think she believes what the deal has at the end of the day is what will matter to the American people and to working people. All of the rest of this is Washington inside baseball about how we get there. She wants to see the final deal. She wants to make sure it protects American workers, and that's what she's fighting for.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, last time around you were one of the chief architects of President Obama's campaign against Hillary. And back in October 2007 you co-wrote a memo that was published by Ryan Lizza in The New Yorker that said the key distinction between Clinton and Obama would be on character not policy. And part of the memo said this, Clinton can't be trusted or believed when it comes to change. She's driven by political calculation not conviction, regularly backing away and shifting positions.

Now that argument worked for you all, then why won't it work for Secretary Clinton's opponents right now?

BENENSON: Look, I think Secretary Clinton is the most right person for this moment. What American people need and want right now is a tenacious fighter who will help them get ahead and stay ahead. They were rocked by a crisis that came a year after that memo by the way, George, that crisis the American people have fought back from. They've worked two jobs, they've worked two shifts. They're fighting out how to make it work. And what they want now is a president who will fight like heck for them in the office every day to get ahead.

She brings that to the table. She does not quit. She's never quit. And she's been fighting on their behalf you know for her entire life.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But as you saw in Cecilia's piece, our latest poll shows that 52 percent of Americans think she is not honest, not trustworthy. That's as high as it was back in the campaign.

BENENSON: With all due respect, George, your latest poll also shows when you ask who cares about people like you and who will fight for people like you, she's above water on that by three points. Jeb Bush is 20 points underwater. I think that’s the fight people want here. Who can I count on? Who can I trust every day in the Oval Office to make my case? To care about my life, make sure that my kids have choices in the future that I want them to have, and that when I can work hard and get ahead, I can stay ahead.

That’s what Hillary Clinton brings to the table and that’s why voters count on her and trust her to do that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: There’s also been a significant amount of commentary this week about the potential electoral strategy of the Clinton campaign, saying that Hillary Clinton’s going to follow not the Bill Clinton path, the broad electoral map, but the narrow map of President Obama.

And I was -- David Brooks, probably not going to vote for Hillary Clinton, but he says that the air here is, if Clinton decides to be just another unimaginative, base-mobilizing politician, she will make our broken politics even worse.

What about that idea, that running a narrow electoral path will make it much harder to govern if you win?

BENENSON: Look, first of all, I think the premise of that that story was kind of entertaining. The notion that you should be running on the same map of somebody who ran 20 years ago is as absurd today as it was when Bill Clinton ran, and he didn’t campaign in Texas. No Democrat had won Texas since 1964. The country changes, demographics change, and where the battlegrounds are fought are where actually middle of the road mainstream Americans are. And that’s plenty of states. And you know this because you’ve covered these races.

So you run a national campaign. We have organizers in all 50 states right now. You have to do that. You have to get people mobilized no matter what state you’re in.

She’d be at (ph) a House party yesterday and 435 congressional districts. You have a map of states that are known as battleground states; that’s not going to change. That’s where the toughest fights are going to be. But you campaign everywhere in this country. People -- the 24 hour, 7-day-a-week media ensures that all over America people are hearing your message and you’ve got to get that message out everywhere.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And we will be on top of it. Joel Benenson, thanks very much.

BENENSON: Thank you, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: When we come back, Terry Moran on the ground in Iraq with a shocking look inside the world of ISIS and his interview with an Iraqi deserter shows why this war is so hard to win.

Plus, Democrats defy President Obama on trade. We’ll ask his Labor Secretary if they can turn it around.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And we’re back now the round table’s headlines of the week. Let’s start with Bill Kristol, editor of “The Weekly Standard”.

BILL KRISTOL, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Well, House Democrats defeating a request by a Democratic president of authority to negotiate a trade deal. Pretty unprecedented I think, and an overwhelming defeat for President Obama, and it raises the question, which you raised in your conversation with Joel, what about Hillary Clinton? She helped negotiate that deal and now she won’t even say she’s in favor of giving Barack Obama, for whom she worked for four years, authority to negotiate to a trade deal with Asian friends.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And he says it was just inside congressional politics. Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of “The Nation”, celebrating its 150thd anniversary right now. And I can’t believe it, but I’ll bet you, you and Bill Kristol are going to agree here.


KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, THE NATION: Well, I see it more as a big win for the soul of the Democrat Party against corporate-backed forces which have too long won a trade fight, which is outsourced jobs, suppressed wages, hollowed out the middle class. This was a great victory for thousands of citizens allied with progressive leaders in labor, inside the House, across this country, for a different kind of trade agreement -- less secretive, more inclusive -- that would create growth and jobs.

I think it’s a very important -- whatever happens, it’s a win for that part of the Democratic Party that understands it has to stand with the small guy, not the big corporation.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Republican strategist Ana Navarro.

ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: And I have the same headline, but mine was “Nancy Pelosi Breaks Up with Barack Obama”. And it was a very public break-up. I think it was very significant. They have had a very close relationship this entire time. She’s been a great ally of his, and she went on the floor, she announced she was going to vote in opposition, and I think that gave way for so many other Democrats to bail on the president.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Even though she...

NAVARRO: I mean this vote...

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- seemed a little bit shaken when she was doing it.

NAVARRO: -- this -- and I think she should be shaken, because this is a -- you know, it was a very public breakup.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Neera Tanden...

NAVARRO: Breaking up is hard to do.


STEPHANOPOULOS: The Center for American Progress.

TANDEN: So I have a different issue, which is actually on the elections. I think issues animating the trade debate are wages and income and I think Hillary put out a bold agenda on those items. But I think we'll see Republicans this week.

And a big question will be like will Jeb Bush also address some of the challenges we're seeing in the economy, that wage stagnation. He's talked about a right to rise, but really, what are his ideas to have that happen?

STEPHANOPOULOS: And we're going to talk about that in our next roundtable.

Now, we've got to take a quick break.

It's Powerhouse Puzzler time.

Inspired by that rare Shakespeare folio, Jon Karl is showing us later in the show.


I'm here at the vault of the Folger Library in Washington. It houses the most valuable collection of Shakespeare's writings in the world.

The question is, in which Shakespeare play is this line -- "Better to be a witty fool than a foolish wit?"

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK. We'll be right back with the answer. A lot of head-shaking here on the roundtable.


STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, we're testing Shakespeare today.

Which play features "Better to be a witty fool than a foolish wit?"


"King Lear?"

NAVARRO: "King Lear"

STEPHANOPOULOS: Everybody is going "King Lear."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have "King Lear," right.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Except Katrina. You just read my prompter.


VANDEN HEUVEL: Never say (INAUDIBLE) full conviction. (INAUDIBLE).


STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you, all.

We're going to be back in a little bit.

And we're going to talk more about that big defeat for President Obama on trade. The Labor secretary is here.

Plus, a shocking new look at the ISIS rampage in Iraq. Terry Moran is there.

And two of America's top military thinkers debate the president's new strategy.



REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: We'll be voting today to slow down the fast track to get a better deal for the American people. Bigger checks -- bigger paychecks, better infrastructure, help the American people fulfill the American dream.


STEPHANOPOULOS: There she is, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi deals the killer blow to President Obama's trade deal, sparking some tough headlines for the president.

But can he turn it around this week?

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez is here to answer that question.

Mr. Secretary, thank you for joining us this morning.



You know, we heard the president's press secretary, Josh Earnest, call this a snafu, this loss.

But the final vote on that crucial piece of trade adjustment assistance wasn't even close, 128-302.

So how do you turn that around?

PEREZ: Well, George, a month ago in the Senate, there was a procedural vote to move to the Senate consideration of the bill. It was defeated. And the next day all the newspapers and pundits were saying that it was a stinging defeat for the president. And it passed the Senate.

You know from having worked here in D.C. that the shortest distance theory is seldom a theory that works here in Washington.

And so I have every confidence, because what the congress did last week is something that many of your pundits predicted they couldn't do. They passed trade promotion authority bipartisan in the Senate, 14 senators, bipartisan in the House, 28 house members, that is remarkable.

And the thing about the Trade Adjustment Act is Democrats have strongly supported that. The last time it came up in 2011, it was unanimously supported by all Democrats who voted. And so this is another procedural snafu just like the one in the Senate.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But as you know, Mr. Secretary, the Democrats now see that as a proxy for the overall vote on trade. Only 40 Democrats voted for that trade adjustment assistance. You're going to need about 120 of them if you're going to pass this thing. How do you get that many votes?

PEREZ: Well, we've had conversations throughout the weekend with various people. And again, you know, I'm very confident that we can find a way. There are multiple pathways here.

Again, the shortest distance theory is never -- is seldom something that we use in Washington. And this is another example of it.

But I'm confident we'll do this, because again we've had bipartisan support on the trade promotion authority, which is critically important. That was the -- that was perceived by everyone as the highest mountain to climb. And it has been done.

And so this procedural hurdle, like the procedural hurdle in the Senate, is something that I think we will surmount. And I'm very confident of that, because you know we continue to have discussions and you know this is Yogi Berra, you know, it's -- we it ain't over until it's over, and there's a lot more to be done here. And I'm confident that we will come to a successful conclusion.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What happens if you don't? What's plan B?

PEREZ: Oh, I don't think we need a plan B here, because there are so many different pathways that can get you to the finish line in the House. And so we'll -- I'm confident that we'll move forward in this, because -- and the reason is, because this is something that is very important -- America needs to set the rules in the global economy that's why the president has been fighting for this. Every day he wakes up, his North Star is what can I do to help the American worker? What can I do to help the American family, that's what he'd been doing since the day he got in office, whether it was the recovery act, whether it's the affordable care act, whether it was a bailout. And this is no different.

And we need to right the rules of the global economy. The world is watching us right now. And the president strongly believes, and I agree, that this is the most progressive trade promotion authority that we've ever given. It renegotiates NAFTA, because under under NAFTA labor protections and environmental protections, they were at the kids table. Now they're at the grownups table. That's critically important.

And we need to move forward with this. And I'm confident that we can do so in a bipartisan fashion.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We will see. Secretary Perez, thanks for joining us this morning.

PEREZ: My pleasure.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to turn now to Iraq and the fight against ISIS. President Obama announced this week that 450 more troops are on their way. And as the administration debate adding even more troops and more military bases to the fighting, our chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran is on the ground in Iraq with a disturbing look at where things stand and the horrors of life under ISIS.


TERRY MORAN, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Iraq's Anbar province, after years of war a hellish Mad Max landscape. And right now the front lines against ISIS.

We arrive at an Iraqi army outpost a few miles north of Fallujah and talk to the Iraqi troops who are staring down ISIS.

How often are you attacked in this position by the ISIS fighters?

"Every day," he says.

He says he will stand and fight, but Iraq's army time and again has turned tail and run from ISIS -- in Mosul last year, in Ramadi last month. Why? Listen to Jafar (ph), a deserter from the Iraqi army. He asked us to shield his identity.

Jafar (ph) says when he deserted last year he had not been paid for seven months and even had to buy his own ammunition and he'd get more only if he could prove he killed an ISIS fighter.

In order for you to get more ammunition you had to bring a dead body?

"We had to prove that either we had killed a terrorist or prove we were under attack," he tells me.

A 10-year veteran, Jafar (ph) told us his army fell apart rapidly after the U.S. withdrawal in 2011.

The Americans have given so much money to train and equip and supply the Iraqi army. Where did it all go?

"It was all stolen," he says.

All stolen? It just got stolen? By politicians, by senior officers?

"Everyone has done it from their own position," he says.

It's now been a year since the fall of Mosul, and life under ISIS there, as this video obtained by the BBC shows, is grim. Shia mosques blown up, empty schools, women forced to cover from head to toe for the first time, Christian homes marked and confiscated.

Iraq is now trying to retrain its troops with American help. But meanwhile on the battlefields, volunteer Shia militia troops are taking over. And when we met them in Anbar, soldiers of the Badr Brigades, some accuse them of atrocities against Sunnis. They made clear what they think of President Obama's plan.

If Obama sends more American soldiers here, will you fight the Americans too?

"I will fight ISIS and the Americans," this man shouts.

Jafar (ph) the deserter, like many Iraqi soldiers, he feels different.

What will fix the Iraqi army?

"If we bring back the Americans," he says. And then adds.


MORAN: For This Week, Terry Moran, ABC News, Baghdad.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks to Terry for that.

And joining me now two retired officers who played key roles in designing and implementing America's surge strategy in Iraq, Lieutenant Colonels Doug Ollivant and John Nagl.

And boy you just see the debate sort of boil down in a nutshell right there, Colonel Nagl. And you wrote in your book "Knife Fights," you were worried back at the original invasion after 2001 that the American invasion would unite Iraqis behind a common cause: killing Americans.

We just heard from the Badr Brigade. Worried that might happen again?

LT. COL JOHN NAGL, U.S. ARMY (RET.): There is a concern that that could happen again. The Iraqi deserter really spoke very deeply to me and to what I believe. So America made a huge mistake invading Iraq in 2003. The invasion was unnecessary and poorly conducted. Through Herculean efforts we managed to pull something like a draw, a reasonable outcome out of that war. But by withdrawing all the American troops prematurely in 2011, we paved the way for the return of an al Qaeda affiliate of ISIS to that country. And unless we put American troops back embedded inside Iraqi units...

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're saying...

NAGL: Iraq cannot win.

STEPHANOPOULOS: 15,000 to 20,000 American troops.

NAGL: That is the number of American advisers I would like to see inside Iraqi units. They would have to be supported by medical units, by logistical units, by intelligence units, by Apache helicopters, special forces teams. That is what it will take to defeat ISIS on the ground, which the president has said is the American objective.

Anything short of that is not a serious effort.


LT. COL. DOUG OLLIVANT, NATIONAL SECURITY FELLOW, NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION: The response is we need to get to give the Iraqis time to show us if they can or cannot do this. As John knows, T.E. Lawrence once said it's much better to have the Arabs do it acceptably than to have the British, or in this case the Americans do it perfectly.

So, we need to give them time so that we can implement this strategy.

You know, the administration hasn't really laid out what the military piece of the strategy is. But looking at it, it appears we’re training, equipping, providing intelligence to and providing air power support for, all the Iraqi forces that are fighting against ISIS, but the army, the prop (ph) of the mobilization units, the Shia militias, the Kurdish Peshmerga, and hopefully the Sunni tribes. If we can support all these units to push ISIS out of Iraq, that is a much better outcome for the long-term politics of Iraq.

And I think that’s what we need to be thinking about, is what does Iraq look after ISIL is pushed out? It would be the worst of all fates if we -- the United States army could go back it and eliminate ISIL. I mean, that’s clear. The United States army remains the gold standard for military combat. But what does that do to Iraqi politics? We’ve heard Bata (ph) Brigade essentially say they would see even these advisors as a reinvasion of Iraq and that’s not acceptable to them.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Isn’t that the big problem?

NAGL: That is one of the problems, certainly. I believe that anything short of embedding American forces inside Iraqi units -- so I’m not arguing for Americans doing the fighting; I want the Iraqi army and some of the militia forces that Doug just described doing the actual fighting.

But without American combat advisors embedded inside their units, calling in the air strikes, providing the intelligence at the front lines of battle, providing really a steel spine for those Iraq unit, quite simply ISIS will not be defeated. We’ve run the experiment over the course of the last year. An additional 450 advisors staying inside the wire at Taqaddum Air Base is simply not going make a difference. The current strategy will fail unless we embed American troops inside Iraqi units.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And General Dempsey is saying -- the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is saying the game changers have to come from the Iraqi government, and if they’re not willing to step up, and that deserter showed one of the reasons why it’s so difficult right now, he says we’re going to have to find other ways and other partners to put pressure on ISIL. What could that possibly be?

OLLIVANT: That’s a good question, who those could possibly be, and I don’t think any of us have any good answers. I think what we’re banking on this current Iraqi government. We have, in the current leaders, in both Prime Minister Abadi, and importantly in the Sunni speaker of the parliament, Dr. Salim al-Jabouri, who was in Washington this week, met with the president and vice president, we have two very moderate leaders who are trying to reach out toe each other and bring a deal together.

The issue with Iraqi politics, as with in American politics, is each of them have to deal with their base, and they’re having trouble bringing their base to the center.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, if America cannot follow, or will not follow the strategy you laid out, 15,000 to 20,000 troops, is it better just to get out?

NAGL: I think the results of that would be catastrophic and ultimately ISIS, which continues to advance not just in Iraq and Syria, but throughout the Middle East, is going to grow stronger and stronger until it reaches a point that America simply can’t afford to ignore it anymore.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Gentlemen, thank you both very much.

OLLIVANT: Thank you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: When we come back, the round table weighs in in a big week in politics. Plus, something different this Sunday. A rare look at Shakespeare’s first work.

ANNOUNCER: Catch THIS WEEK online, all week, at abcnes.com, on Facebook and Twitter.



GEORGE H. W. BUSH: I am here today to announce my candidacy for President of the United States. And I mean to win.

THEN-GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R), TEXAS: I'm running for president of the United States. There's no turning back. And I intend to be the next president of the United States.

GEORGE H. W. BUSH Prosperity with a purpose means giving back to the country that has given you so much.

GEORGE W. BUSH: I am running because our country must be prosperous. But prosperity must have a purpose.


STEPHANOPOULOS: You saw the echoes right there. George W. Bush, George Herbert Walker Bush, both in their announcement days.

Tomorrow, Jeb Bush gets in.

Let's talk about that now with the roundtable.

And before we go to you guys, I want to show a little bit of a campaign video that the Jeb Bush campaign is putting out ahead of his announcement tomorrow. And it shows he's ready to run on these compassionate conservative themes, as well.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He really cares about us. He really cares about people with developmental disabilities and with all disabilities. There are people today that are getting services because of what Jeb did.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Bill Kristol, there is kind of a Bush template here.

KRISTOL: There is. And it's been successful and unsuccessful, you know. Bushes have won and lost Republican presidential nominations.

I think he's helped by announcing tomorrow, two days after Hillary Clinton. Because I...


KRISTOL: -- because her speech was poor. I mean it was so mediocre and conventional and cliched. And -- and they will be compared, since they're only 48 hours apart.

If Jeb Bush gives an interesting, forward-looking speech, which doesn't just recycle focus group tested phrases, I think he'll be out -- he'll help himself.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Neera, I know you want to jump in here.

TANDEN: Yes, I don't think that Bill Kristol was the -- was the audience Hillary is looking at. But I -- I thought she did a -- she did a very substantive speech and we'll see what Jeb Bush says.

I mean I think the most interesting thing about the Bush strategy and the Bush campaign is that they've put out this week that in order to get ahead, he's planning to carpet bomb his Republican opponents, putting out that he's going to spend all this money that he's raised right now over in the last couple of weeks to basically take down Marco Rubio and others.

And so I think this is going to be a fascinating hot summer...

STEPHANOPOULOS: And right now...

TANDEN: -- in the Republican primary.

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- he's -- he's stuck in the middle of the pack.

And Ana Navarro, of course, you're close to Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. We did see, ahead of this announcement this week from Jeb Bush, a whole new restructuring of his campaign, some concern that he hasn't been able to get off the ground and really dominate this field.

NAVARRO: Well, but that restructuring was, I think, a tweaking, a personnel tweaking that was...

STEPHANOPOULOS: A new campaign manager.

NAVARRO: -- yes, but I mean the -- you know, but it was -- everybody is happy about it, including the guy who got moved, who was one of the best early state operatives. His name is David Kochel, that there is a Republican politics and who had been, in Miami, doing a lot of administrative work without being able to thinking about early state strategy.

I think he's very happy that he was going to be able to focus on where his strengths are.

And Jeb was happy that's he's going to be able to do that.

So I think this is all for the best. The media narrative was very disconnected from the reality. I think what you're going to see from Jeb tomorrow is a talking of -- and focus on his achievements as governor.

The person we just saw in that video is somebody who was -- who was the mother of a -- of a disabled woman who actually confronted Jeb about not doing enough when he was governor. And they became very close. And it was one of his major focuses as governor.

So you're going to see him tout his achievements as governor and also talk about the kind of campaigning, inclusive campaign, that he wants to run.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Katrina, you're from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

What did you hear from Hillary Clinton yesterday?

How did you feel after it?

VANDEN HEUVEL: She spoke from the most glorious place in the United States, Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. She said I am woman. She roared. And she hadn't done that...


VANDEN HEUVEL: -- in 2008. She spoke to the issues that she's spoken to for years, the good issues -- fighting for women and children, pay equity, paid sick leave, pre-K, early pre-K.

I also heard her say something that relates to Jeb Bush. She said if she becomes president, she will take on this dysfunctional money system we have and fight to repeal Citizens United.

Jeb Bush coming into the race at long last, thank goodness, his pseudo-candidacy, this farce, is that over?

But what I didn't hear from Hillary Clinton -- and I think she's going to make more speeches. There were populist touches, but I didn't hear the big, bold economic vision. I didn't hear her speak out directly on trade, on debt-free higher education, expanding Social Security, which would have been fully appropriate at Roosevelt Park. You know, or taming the banks in a real way.

But there were populist touches and this campaign, because of Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley, will drive her to take sharper positions.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, I want to ask -- I want to ask Bill Kristol about that. There is a lot of energy there. I don't think (INAUDIBLE) behind these populist ideas. It's not just in the Democratic Party. Our latest "Washington Post"/ABC News Poll shows, you know, above 60 percent of registered voters think that there has to be action taken against inequality right now.

KRISTOL: Yes. That's why I think Hil -- neither Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush may be the nominee, because they're both phony populist. I mean they're both impressive people. But if you want some -- I mean she won't take a position on a trade vote that every single Democrat in the House and Senate has voted on, every Democratic presidential candidate except for Hillary Clinton has taken a position. Every Republican senator or congressman and presidential candidate has taken a position.

But Hillary Clinton's sort of too big to actually say how she would vote on -- in real time on a very important vote in Congress?

So I think it's a -- I think she will have a much tougher road as things go forward. I think Katrina was very polite to her just now. But the truth is, Bernie Sanders, who opposes the trade deal, who opposed the Iraq War, who was a critic of the Patriot Act, who opposed the Glass-Steagall banking reforms that Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton shepherded through in 1999.

Bernie Sanders is much more in touch with the living heart of the Democratic Party.


KRISTOL: This is not a Clinton...


KRISTOL: It is not a Clinton Democratic Party anymore.


KRISTOL: That's what Friday's vote showed, really.


TANDEN: No, but in speaking to the -- the heart and soul of the Democratic Party it was interesting to me.

But let me just say, you know, on all of these issues, rising income inequality, I worked on Hillary's 2007 campaign. I worked for her for a decade. She did...

NAVARRO: That went well.

TANDEN: J she did fight on these issues. She's raised income inequality. She talked about paid leave years ago. This is not, though, populism. Hillary has been a fighter for a very long time.


STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to say...


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- I want to bring the...


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- first, let me bring...


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- to Ana Navarro, because you slipped it in there.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Jeb Bush, phony populist.

NAVARRO: I don't know what -- what's phony about him. To tell you the truth, he has been out there now for months taking every question posed to him, being very accessible, being with people. He has not been in a -- what is a pseudo campaign. That's what we've seen from Hillary Clinton for the last two months, where you actually think she's been in the Witness Protection Program, not doing a -- any campaigning.


VANDEN HEUVEL: Why is it that if she doesn't meet with media, she's in the Witness Protection Program?

She's meeting with ordinary citizens...

NAVARRO: She's meeting with hand-picked people and hand-picked...


TANDEN: No, they're...


KRISTOL: Ana, Ana, you should be nice...

NAVARRO: But, you know what, people...


NAVARRO: -- you know why people are not showing up to see Bernie Sanders in huge numbers?

VANDEN HEUVEL: Well, I -- listen...

NAVARRO: Because there's actually somebody to go see.

VANDEN HEUVEL: But maybe -- listen...

NAVARRO: He was on George's program.

STEPHANOPOULOS: About a month ago.

VANDEN HEUVEL: About a month ago. And I'm standing with Dana Perino, who was on the program that same day.

STEPHANOPOULOS: George W. Bush's press secretary.

VANDEN HEUVEL: And she said to me as we watched Bernie Sanders, someone I've known for many years, he's so authentic. He's so real. And that is true.

But no illusions. Bernie Sanders is in this to shape the debate. He might -- there's momentum behind him. He is now 15 percent from 4 percent in some polls.

But he has issues and he speaks his mind. But Bernie -- you know, this -- this is all about, again, Roosevelt, make me do it. People...


STEPHANOPOULOS: Who's going to drive the debate on the Republican side? who's going to be the engine of ideas?

KRISTOL: You know, that is a good question and I -- I think it could be some of the second tier candidates who are underestimated. I think Marco Rubio, so far, if you just step back and look at a campaign so far, I think Marco Rubio has been the most impressive in that respect.

But Jeb Bush has a chance. I mean I -- I don't mean to -- he's a -- he was a good governor. It was a long time ago. I mean I wonder if having in your video people you helped 15 years ago, it's impressive. He was a good governor of Florida. Republicans will praise that.

Does he have a vision for the future?

That's really what he's got to do.

I would -- if I were advising him, but he hasn't called me up on this, I would rip up whatever parts of the speech about what he -- tomorrow that are about what he did 15 years ago as governor of Florida and give a speech about what he would do...

NAVARRO: But that's...

KRISTOL: -- in 2017.

NAVARRO: -- you know, Bill, that's actually crazy, because what he brings to the table as a governor, as do all the governors that are running, is what they've actually done, as opposed to the senators, who bring to the table how they've actually talked.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That is going to have to be the last word today. Thank you all for a lively roundtable.

When we come back, we're going to preview tonight's game five of the NBA finals after this from our ABC stations.


STEPHANOPOULOS: In this week's Sunday Spotlight, the hidden role of William Shakespeare. For years, a priceless collection of the Bard's first printed plays has been housed just steps away from congress. And now these rare books are going on a remarkable tour of America.

Before the launch, Jon Karl takes us inside the vault where these treasures have been preserved.


KARL: Our journey begins through the silence of the Shakespeare reading room, down three stories beneath ground to a bunker just one block from the Capitol and the Supreme Court to a secret passage kept under lock and key.

It's a little like Maxwell Smart.

We are deep inside the vault that runs an entire city block, one of the most fortified bunkers in all of Washington, housing some of the greatest literary treasures in the world and most Americans have no idea that it's there.

We are looking at the most prized possessions of the Folger Shakespeare Library with Director Michael Witmore as our guide, even showing us the deed from Shakespeare's house.

MICHAEL WITMORE, DIR. FOLGER SHAKESPEAR LIBRARY: He held one of these pieces in his hand.

KARL: And one of Queen Elizabeth's personal bibles.

WITMORE: Covered in crimson velvet, it has her initials here.

KARL: But the biggest treasure of them all.

So this is the most valuable first edition in the entire world?

WITMORE: This is a blockbuster of a book.

KARL: The first collected edition of William Shakespeare's plays, books dating back to 1623.

I mean, I can't just like kind of like you know pick up and start...

WITMORE: You probably shouldn't go like this. But you can handle it. It's made out of rag paper, that means people took clothing, they pulped it up, they made the paper. And this paper is stronger...

KARL: You're touching it.

WITMORE: I am touching it.

KARL: There's never been a writer so popular, even 400 years after his death his writing is as alive in the public imagination as ever from Sesame Street...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be or not to be...

KARL: To the Simpsons.

UNIDENITIFIED MALE: Hamlet, avenge me.


KARL: All of it captured first in these pages.

And there's more, Walt Whitman's personal copy of Shakespeare's poetry.

WITMORE: There's his signature, Walt Whitman.

KARL: And what is believed to be the most accurate likeness there is of the Bard himself.

So this is what we think he looks like?

WITMORE: This is really important. People who knew and worked with him said he looked like this. This is the picture that we think really captures the man. And this is the picture you see everywhere. This is his head shot.

KARL: And now.

WITMORE: We want the hundreds of thousands of people to see this book.

KARL: They're preparing to send this rare and priceless piece of history on the ultimate book tour. The first editions are headed to all 50 states next year to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, giving Americans a chance to revel in those powerful words that still amaze and inspire...

LEONARDO DICAPRIO, ACTOR: I never saw true beauty come before tonight.

KARL: Whether you last heard them in the classroom...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ...an excellent play.

KARL: Or surrounded by them every day.

WITMORE: I am stunned every time I see a first folio, because of how powerful and important this book is. This is a book that brought to us some of the most important plays and poetry that had ever been written. You see phrases here and ideas and characters that you think about all the time. And they're here.

KARL: This week, Jonathan Karl, ABC News, Washington.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks to Jon for that piece of culture.

Now we're going to turn to sports. A look ahead to tonight's big game. In these exciting NBA finals, Golden State and Cleveland tied 2-2, two overtimes, the most watched series ever. ESPN's Chris Broussard is in Oakland right now.

And Chris, thanks for joining us.

ESPN's Power Index gives Golden State about a 70 percent chance of winning right now. Is that how you see it?

CHRIS BROUSSARD, ESPN ANALYST: I probably wouldn't go as high as 70 percent myself. I'd say about 60 percent.

Look, they have the home court advantage. They have the momentum after winning game four. They have the deeper, more versatile roster. But Cleveland of course has LeBron James, the best player in the world.

He's carried such an incredible workload, though, without their two all-star Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love that the question going into tonight's game is how much stamina will LeBron James have. Will he have enough left in the tank to dominate the game tonight?

STEPHANOPOULOS: That is exactly the question I was going to ask you. He's really been carrying that whole Cleveland team on his back.

BROUSSARD: Yeah, he totally has. 35 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists a game, unfathomable numbers. But he hasn't gotten enough help from the supporting cast. And you just wonder how much longer he could carry this load.

If these two days off really helps him in terms of fatigue and rehydration and rejuvenation then he could dominate this game like he did the first three. And I give Cleveland a good chance to win the game and the series.

STEPHANOPOULOS: All right. Chris Broussard, thanks very much.

Game five tonight on ABC. That's for us right now. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Check out “WORLD NEWS TONIGHT”. And I'll see you tomorrow on GMA. Have a great Flag Day.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events