'This Week' Transcript: Mike Huckabee and John Kasich

ByABC News
September 6, 2015, 10:03 AM
John Kasich speaks at an event in Nashua, N.H. on April 18, 2015 and Mike Huckabee appears on "Good Morning America" on May 6, 2015.
John Kasich speaks at an event in Nashua, N.H. on April 18, 2015 and Mike Huckabee appears on "Good Morning America" on May 6, 2015.
Getty Images | ABC via Getty Images


ANNOUNCER: Starting right now on ABC THIS WEEK, Trump's trouble ahead -- his poll numbers are soaring, but he's facing a big new challenger.

What's next for "The Donald?"

And Hillary fires back -- the frontrunner taking on her growing email troubles, as her aide takes the Fifth.

Showdown in Kentucky -- the brand new protest to free that jailed clerk who won't let gay couples marry. One of that clerk's most prominent supporters, Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee, is here live.

Plus, refugee crisis -- thousands of desperate refugees finally arriving in Austria this morning -- the enormous relief and huge new challenge ahead.




As Labor Day kicks off the next phase of this super-charged political season, brand new polls this morning have a nasty surprise for Hillary Clinton, losing now to Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire. And Donald Trump in an Iowa match-up. We're going to have all the latest on that ahead.

But we begin with that breaking news overseas, new refugees pouring into Europe from the Middle East right now, joining the thousands who made it to safety in Austria and Germany.

That comes as secretary of State John Kerry issues a new warning to the Russians about their military buildup in Syria, where war has sparked this worst refugee crisis since World War II.

ABC's Alex Marquardt starts us off from Vienna -- good morning, Alex.


This is one of the two main train stations here in Vienna, where all weekend, refugees have been coming off of trains from the border with Hungary. Most of them are Syrians, all marveling at the warm reception they've received here in Austria.

And here behind me, you can see different aide groups, as well as regular Austrians who have been distributing food here, handing out clothes, as well as helping with travel information.

The vast majority of the refugees we've spoken with want to go on to Germany, which has said they will take all those who come. And there are many more who are coming.


MARQUARDT: Arriving in the Austrian capital this morning, refugees poured onto the platform, many wrapped in blankets, children clinging to their parents. These hundreds have just come off the train from the Hungarian border clearly weary, but lots of smiles on their faces, very happy to be here, welcomed warmly by translators who speak Arabic and other languages, teams of volunteers with cups of hot tea and rounds of applause from local Austrians.

(voice-over): Emotional scenes -- these two sisters from Syria heading to Germany, overwhelmed as they come to the end of the long and dangerous journey.

In Germany, 8,000 people have reportedly already arrived since yesterday, welcomed with applause and signs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now we are free.

MARQUARDT: All thrilled to have escaped Hungary, where they were stranded for days, blocked by the government from leaving.

So they tried to walk the 150 miles to the borders the highway, in wheelchairs, on crutches, parents carrying exhausted children.


Why did this come?

MARQUARDT: Most here Syrians fleeing the war, crossing the Mediterranean Sea in flimsy boats, where so many have lost their lives and making their way north into Europe.

International outrage exploding after these heartbreaking images of a 3-year-old Syrian toddler drowned on a Turkish beach. The crisis fueling calls for a long-term solution, raising questions about how many refugees countries can and will take in.

Will it encourage more to make the perilous trip?

But for these young Syrians, those are questions for another day. Right now, they're just happy they made it this far, ready for a new life.

(on camera): And even though you've been traveling for days and walking so much, you're still all so happy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Because it's finished.

MARQUARDT: It's finished.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, now we'll start a new future.

MARQUARDT: Your future starts now?



MARQUARDT: And George, the pope announced this morning that the Vatican will be taking in two Syrian families and he called on Catholic parishes across Europe to do the same.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is also coming under increased pressure to accept more refugees -- George.



More on this now from David Miliband, president of the International Rescue Committee, which is at the forefront of this refugee relief effort.

Thank you for coming in this morning.

The world has been slow to grasp the enormity of this crisis.

What must be done right now?


There's an immediate crisis. The eye of the storm is in Greece. I've just spoken to our field director on Lesbos, one of the four islands that's receiving about 4,000 refugees every day. And they need water, sanitation, basic transportation.

But obviously, there's also the source of this crisis in the Middle East itself, where the pressure in the neighboring states of Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, is absolutely intolerable. And that's why you're seeing increasing numbers of people going into Europe. And unless this problem is tackled at source as well as with compassion and with competence in Europe, then we're not going to get to the root of the problem.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And that means ending this war?

MILIBAND: Absolutely. They -- the origins of this are clear, that there's four years of neglect of the Syria crisis, in which the options have become worse year upon year upon year, in which now four and a half million refugees have tumbled out of Syria into the neighboring states. It has frankly overwhelmed their capacity.

And what we've seen in the last week is Europe exposed, humbling and feeble in its response, but also, frankly, the whole international community has wanted to turn away from this crisis, and both the human dimensions and the political dimensions need much more muscle behind them.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And there's been new calls, as Alex said, on the United States taking more refugees. The United States has taken only about 1,400 so far.

But what do you say to those Americans who are concerned that if you start to take in more refugees from Syria, you run the risk of letting in those who might commit terror, as well?

MILIBAND: Well, all the evidence is, first, it's tougher to get to America as a refugee than to come in under any other route. There's proper security guidelines, proper vetting by the Department of Homeland Security. And my organization, the International Rescue Committee, has about 80 years in resettling refugees in America. And we have successful Syrian-American communities in the Midwest, in California, waiting to welcome those people.

And just to put it in perspective, the U.S. has always been a leader in refugee resettlement. But 1,500 people over four years is such a miniscule contribution to tackling the human side of this problem that people are rightly, in my view, sponsoring legislation in the United States Senate for that number to be anything like the 65,000 by the end of 2016 that would represent the kind of leadership that America has traditionally shown on these kind of issues.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You served as British foreign secretary. We've seen this new warning from Secretary Kerry to the Russians about their military buildup in Syria.

What would that mean if we see new Russian arms in Syria?

MILIBAND: I think the most significant thing about the story today is that it reflects the weakness of President Assad. President Assad is weaker today than he was a year ago. His actions have sponsored and supported the rise of ISIS. And what the stories tell me is that we're well past the time when not just the United States and Russia, but also the key regional powers, that's Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran, need to sit down and figure out how to build a -- a serious common ground against what is a common threat.

STEPHANOPOULOS: David Miliband, thanks very much.

MILIBAND: Thank you very much.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The race for president -- now your voice, your vote. And Donald Trump dominating the race this Labor Day defying political gravity with brand new polls showing him extending his lead in New Hampshire and Iowa, even defeating Hillary Clinton in a head-to-head matchup.

But as Jon Karl reports, Trump faces new challenges as summer turns to fall.


JON KARL, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: With Summer winding down, it's back to school for presidential candidates. And it was pledge week for Donald Trump who now says he definitely won't make an independent run.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and the conservative principles for which it stands.

KARL: Part class clown, part class bully...

TRUMP: Sit down.

KARL: But Donald is still head of the class, now soaring to 30 percent in the latest national poll: his highest grade yet.

But it may be time for Trump to hit the books, after he stumbled through foreign policy questions in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.

HUGH HEWITT, CONSERVATIVE RADIO HOST: Are you familiar with General Soleimani?

TRUMP: Yes. I -- go ahead, give me a little -- go ahead, tell me.

HEWITT: He runs the Quds forces.

TRUMP: Yes, OK, right.

HEWITT: Do you expect...

TRUMP: And I think the Kurds, by the way, have been horribly mistreated by us.

HEWITT: No, not the Kurds, the Quds forces, the Iranian revolutionary guards Quds forces.

KARL: Trump later said he didn't hear the question. Blasting Hewitt as a third rate announcer with gotcha questions.

And he says he has plenty of time to study up.

HEWITT: So, the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas does not matter to you yet, but it will?

TRUMP: It will when it's appropriate. I will know more about it than you know. And believe me, it won't take me long.

KARL: Will Trump's fumble bring on revenge of the nerds? Enter Marco Rubio who is on the Senate foreign relations committee.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think if you don't know the answer to those questions, then you're not going to be able to serve as commander-in-chief.

KARL: And Jeb Bush gave Trump a bilingual bashing as he fights back against the frontrunner's school yard attacks.


KARL: Now another outsider is making a bid to be the most popular kid in class. Dr. Ben Carson making a huge leap in the polls now second to Trump nationally and tied with him in Iowa. A new contender on the rise, his opponents on the attack, so will the summer of Trump be followed by the fall of Trump.

For THIS WEEK, Jonathan Karl, ABC News, Washington.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's bring back our political analyst Matthew Dowd, you don't think so.

MATTHEW DOWD, ABC POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't think it's going to be the fall of Trump.

I -- if you look at the -- where the race is today and you look at some level of history, this race is way beyond anything we've seen. I think Donald Trump as of today is the Republican nominee for president.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The Republican nominee?

DOWD: The Republican nominee for president.

He leads nationally in every single poll for more than two months. He leads every single state, including favorite son states like Florida where he leads Jeb Bush. Jeb Bush is third. And any Republican that has lead for two months and lead every state has won the GOP nomination.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Bill Kristol, what do you think of that?

BILL KRISTOL, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Won't happen. Won't happen.

I mean, Trump has -- a, I think he's hit his ceiling of about 30 percent. You don't find much...

STEPHANOPOULOS: A pretty high ceiling in a big field.

KRISTOL: Absolutely. And he deserves a lot of credit, for running a very clever campaign and mostly for showing how unhappy everyone is with the Republican establishment, and unfortunately I think some of the rest of the field. But I do think we're at peak Trump. Of course, I said this about six weeks ago.

It's a little premature. You how sometimes you say the market bubble is going to burst and then the stock market goes up another 100 percent, so maybe peak Trump will last for another two or three weeks, but I don't...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Here is the part that has also mystified so many, Donna Brazile, and I'll put this question to you and let everybody comment as well: the rise of Ben Carson, now second to Donald Trump in Iowa -- at least in Iowa, some polls in New Hampshire as well. Surging nationally. What is the source of his appeal?

DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Slow, steady without the swagger of Donald Trump, he's the candidate that knows how to speak in this really module conservative tone. He's convinced not just his supporters, but I think many in the establishment that if Donald Trump is to come down, I don't think he's going to come down easily, the only person who could possibly take him down is a guy who is running what I call a traditionally Republican campaign.

He's drawing large crowds. He's also converting people from being what I call crowd pleasers to folks who will go and stand up with him at the caucus.

So, Ben Carson is someone we should not laugh at.

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, THE NATION: Here's a shocker, we are living in anti-establishment times. Who knew we would be sitting here September 6 looking at this landscape. This is a time you don't want to make predictions. It is a fluid rewrite the rules time.

Now, this has been summer of Trump, but I think the media has done a great disservice to this country: wall to wall coverage of a bully. And has virtually ignored Bernie Sanders who is today -- but why, it's wall-to-wall coverage, wall-to-wall. It is free air time. It is obsessive. And I think in that it is a disservice. And gatekeepers are defining what is viable.

Bernie Sanders is a serious candidate with serious issues. He is today first in New Hampshire, closing in on Iowa, but too many are saying he's not viable. And I say Americans should be trusted and don't have a downsize policy. Include an alternative...

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

DOWD: I think two things. Obviously the media has covered this because there's a huge entertainment value in Donald Trump, that's absolutely true. But there's two things about it. First, in outside, we expected, I expected an outsider to really emerge in this race. If you look at 2000, we forget that Steve Forbes, Alan Keyes and Gary Bauer got 54 percent in 2000. And it's only increased since then.

The second thing, and one of the reasons why I think the media covers Trump, is that the American public -- and especially a bunch of Republicans -- are looking for somebody big, bold, and they don't want small. And the problem with all the other Republicans is that they seem small compared to Donald Trump.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And I wonder if that means, to pick up on Matt's point, Bill Kristol, is that Donald Trump will start to fall only if he gets boring.

KRISTOL: Oh, well I think if other candidates step up.

Look, we did a poll of Weekly Standard readers, essentially only 15 percent are for Trump and he has very few second and third choices. So, our readers are not that pro-Trump.

But then we also asked, a straw poll, asked them are you happy or unhappy that Trump is in the race. 64 percent happy he's in the race.

I think some of that Trump number right now is people happy he's shaking things up and they're not going to vote for him.

I think there are three outsiders running, right, Trump who I do not believe can be the nominee, Ben Carson who I think ultimately be the nominee, Carly Fiorina is actually one of the three outsiders who I think is a plausible presidential nominee. And I think -- well, why not? Why not? She is actually a serious person.

VANDEN HEUVEL: I want to come back to what Matt said, because what is big? What is big in American politics? A billionaire bully beating up on poor immigrants? I mean, that's not my idea of big.

I will predict Trump will never become boring, but I think he's reached his limit. And I think with all due respect to Donna, Ben Carson is quiet. He's a certified extremist. He wants to bomb immigrants...


DOWD: When I make a prediction on where the thing is standing, it's not that I believe he should be, it's just where are the American public and the GOP voters are now. And this idea right now that Trump has a lid, you look at the two way to put Trump against another Republican, he beats every other Republican and in some cases he's over 60 percent of the vote of Republican voters.

He does not have the lid people think right now. But I think in the end, time is Trump's greatest enemy. He has to keep this going for five more months.

BRAZILE: Well, first of all, I'm not a Ben Carson supporter...


BRAZILE: I don't want to go home and somebody get a cardiologist for me. But, Donald Trump has rewritten the old playbook where during this period of time the candidates are out raising the money, raising their profile, attending fundraisers. Donald Trump has nothing but time on his hands to come on shows.

STEPHANOPOULOS: A lot of money as well.

VANDEN HEUVEL: Free media. Wall-to-wall.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Got to take a break and come back to the Democrats. See y'all later.

But up next, a new battle in the cultural wars. That county clerk jailed in Kentucky for refusing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, compare now to both Martin Luther King and George Wallace, her cause dividing the GOP field and strong supporter Mike Huckabee standing by live to weigh in.

And later, the latest Democrat jumping into the race right here today in what may be the most unusual campaign in an already unusual year.


STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): Coming up, Republican candidates Mike Huckabee and John Kasich plus a new Democrat set to launch his campaign right here on THIS WEEK.

Can you guess who it is?


STEPHANOPOULOS: In THIS WEEK's closer look, a new firestorm over that Kentucky clerk refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Kim Davis is vowing to stay in jail to honor her faith, sparking a new debate about religious liberty and the duties of public officials.

We'll talk live to her staunch supporter, Mike Huckabee, after this from Alex Perez.

ALEX PEREZ, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This morning in Kentucky, Rowan County clerk Kim Davis, is still behind bars for contempt of court after refusing last week to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.


PEREZ (voice-over): But by Friday, hugs and cheers in that same office.

KRISTOL: Congratulations.


PEREZ (voice-over): Robbie Blankenship and Jesse Cruz among the very first couples given the green light to get married in Rowan County after Kim Davis' deputies agreed to follow that federal judge's order.

KRISTOL: It's more about than just a piece of paper, right?

KRISTOL: What is it about?

KRISTOL: It's about equality. It's about equal rights. It's about the --


KRISTOL: -- as the neighbor to the left of me and the neighbor to the right of me.

PEREZ (voice-over): In June, the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide, changing the law in 13 states that previously banned gay marriage, including Kentucky.

Davis is one of 17 other county clerks in Kentucky who sent letters to the governor in July, saying issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples goes against their deeply held religious beliefs.

KRISTOL: Under whose authority are you not issuing licenses?


PEREZ (voice-over): Saturday, supporters are turning out for Davis.


PEREZ (voice-over): Presidential candidates weighing in, too, Mike Huckabee tweeting, "Kim Davis in federal custody removes all doubts about the criminalization of Christianity in this country."

Meanwhile, Davis could remain in custody until she either resigns or follows the law. Her husband says she won't give up and that he supports her.

JOE DAVIS, HUSBAND OF KIM DAVISTEPHANOPOULOS: And I don't care. They can't bully me.

PEREZ (voice-over): Davis' attorneys are appealing.

For THIS WEEK, Alex Perez, ABC News, Morehead, Kentucky.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And Governor Mike Huckabee joins us now.

Governor, thank you for joining us this morning. I know you're going to be going to Kentucky on Tuesday as a part of demonstration and support of Kim Davis.

But there are some dissenting voices in the conservative movement. I wanted you to respond to something from Rod Drayer (ph) in "The American Conservative."

He says that, "The Supreme Court makes a ruling we don't like, we are obliged to obey the law or be willing to suffer the consequences of disobedience. What we cannot do and what the government cannot permit is open defiance of settled law."

He believes this is going to backfire on the religious liberty movement.

What's your response?

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, he would have hated Abraham Lincoln because Lincoln ignored the 1847 Dred Scott decision that said black people weren't fully human. It was a wrong decision. And to say that we have to surrender to judicial supremacy is to do what Jefferson warned against, which is, in essence, surrender to judicial tyranny.

We had so many different presidents, including Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln -- there were other founders like Hamilton, Adams -- who made it very clear that the courts can't make a law. The Constitution is expressly clear that that's a power reserved to Congress.

When the courts have a ruling, then it is incumbent on Congress to codify that into law and specifically delineate what that means. That hasn’t happened, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But how is this different then from Loving v. Virginia back in 1967? Of course that was a Supreme Court ruling that struck down bans on interracial marriage. If a clerk at that time had said my religious beliefs forbid me from issuing this license, would you support that?

HUCKABEE: Well, it is incredibly different situation because --


HUCKABEE: -- what the Supreme Court did in Loving -- no, it’s not the same, George, not even close. Because in Loving you still had a marriage which was a man and a woman, and it was equal protection. But it didn’t redefine marriage. What’s -- the Supreme Court did in June --

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you didn’t have laws implementing --


HUCKABEE: This is why --

STEPHANOPOULOS: You didn’t have laws implementing the ruling then either, so would it have been OK to defy the Supreme Court in that case?

HUCKABEE: I think it’s -- again, it’s a very different equation altogether because this is a redefinition. Marriage is not defined in the federal Constitution at all; it’s a matter for the states. And applying the Fourteenth Amendment to the equality of men and women and their relationship in marriage is totally different than redefining marriage.

And I think what we’ve seen here is the overreach of the judiciary. This, if allowed to stand without any congressional approval, without any kind of enabling legislation, is what Jefferson warned us about. That’s judicial tyranny.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I’m not sure I follow your reasoning, sir. This is exactly the same. In both cases, you have the Supreme Court saying --

HUCKABEE: No, it’s not.

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- that state laws further the Constitution, don’t further the Fourteenth Amendment.

HUCKABEE: George, can you cite for me what statute Kim Davis would be required follow in order to issue a same-sex marriage license in Kentucky when her state specifically says, by 75 percent of the voters, that marriage means one man, one woman? Can you cite the statute at the federal or state level that she’s supposed to follow? Even the very form that she fills out specifically lists a male and a female. Does she have the authority just to scratch that out and create her own?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Doesn’t she have to the duty to obey a legal order from the court?

HUCKABEE: Well, you obey it if it’s right. So I go back to my question. Is slavery the law of the land? Should it have been the law of the land because Dred Scott said so? Was that a correct decision? Should the courts have been irrevocably followed on that? Should Lincoln have been put in jail? Because he ignored it.

I mean, that’s the fundamental question. Do we have a check and balance system? Do we have three equal branches or do we have one supreme branch, not just the Supreme Court? That’s the fundamental question.

And, George, this is a bigger issue than this one thing. This goes back to the larger issue of whether or not what we’ve learned in ninth grade civics is even still operative. And why people are so angry across the country not just on this issue but on others is that the ruling class has thumbed their nose at the very constitution. You’ve got Democrats who ignored the law when it was the law to have traditional marriage.

Gavin Newsom in San Francisco as mayor performed same-sex weddings even though it was illegal. Did he ever get put in jail? He most certainly did not. You have Barack Obama and Eric Holder, when he was Attorney General. They ignored the rulings of DOMA. Did they get put in jail for ignoring the law? They most certainly did not.

So when is it that liberals get to choose which laws they support, but a county clerk in Kentucky who, acting on her Christian faith, is criminalized, jailed without bail, because she acted on her conscience and according to the only law that is in front of her.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the most memorable statements ever made by a president on separation of church and state was a quote from John F. Kennedy to the Baptist ministers back in his campaign in 1960. Let me play a bit of that.


JOHN F. KENNEDY, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATESTEPHANOPOULOS: When if the time should ever come and I do not concede any conflict to be remotely possible, when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Would you make that same statement in your candidacy for president?

HUCKABEE: I can't see any circumstance in which I would be required to violate my conscience and -- and the law. And if so, I think maybe there is a point at which you say either I'll resign or put me in jail.

But what I want to go back to is that...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But let me -- before you do...

HUCKABEE: -- if we...

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- before you do, though...


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- let me ask you a follow-up on that, because I've just...



STEPHANOPOULOS: -- for one situation, because the federal government now recognizes same-sex marriage for tax purposes. Health, Social Security and death benefits go to same-sex couples.

So would you resign rather than carry out those policies?

HUCKABEE: Well, when you say the federal government recognizes it, what statute under which do they recognize it?

They do it by decree, but there is no Congressionally elected -- or voted upon statute.

George, let me...


HUCKABEE: -- let me give you an example. When I was governor, we -- no, let me finish this, because it's very important.

When I was governor, we had a Supreme Court case on school finance that said we were inadequate and inequitable. They ruled. I read the ruling. I agreed with it. I knew it was right.

But I didn't just sit out at my desk and start writing new checks to school districts. We had to go back to the legislature, come up with a school funding formula. It was passed. I signed it. And then we ordered the Department of Education to send checks.

We are bypassing the process when we have one branch of government acting as it has authority over the other two. And what I'm coming back to -- and I -- I think people are missing this -- either we live under the rule of law, which is a three branch, checks and balances system of government, or we end up with what I think was so powerful when Lincoln said this -- and I want to read this.

He said, "If the policy of the government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court the instant they are made, then in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having, to that extent, practically resigned their government into the hands of this imminent tribunal."

We there -- we either are a people of government, a people of law, and we are a nation of the people, or we are a nation under the power of the Supreme Court, which is what...


HUCKABEE: -- the dissenting opinion of Roberts and Scalia so powerfully said.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Huckabee, that's all we have time for this morning.

Thanks very much.

HUCKABEE: Thank you. Great to be with you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And now, our Powerhouse Puzzler, inspired by President Obama's trip to Alaska this week, where he made news by returning Mount McKinley to its native name, Denali.

So here's the question -- how much did the U.S. pay for Alaska back in 1867?

We're back in two minutes with the answer.


STEPHANOPOULOS: So how much did the United States pay for Alaska in 1867?

Let's ask the roundtable.

Bill Kristol?

KRISTOL: No idea.




VANDEN HEUVEL: I want to say $7 million. The most important is the former governor of Alaska, who is "The Nation" editor, Ernest Gruening.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Oh, all right.

KRISTOL: Eight million.


BRAZILE: No, it was $7 million and then it went up about 15 (INAUDIBLE)...

STEPHANOPOULOS: You guys are all pretty close. It was $7.2 million.



Next, we'll be back with the man who may be Hillary Clinton's most unusual challenger. He's been called a prophet, a mad scientist and the Donald Trump of the left. We'll find out why when we come back.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Back now, the roundtable. Let’s talk about the Democrats right now, Donna. We just saw that new poll in New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders ahead of Hillary Clinton, facing questions all week long on the email as her staffers went up to testify on Capitol Hill. One didn't testify, taking the 5th.

And we're also a new phase, though, in the Clinton campaign. She's coming out herself. They're hoping to pivot after what has been a very tough summer.

BRAZILE: Very tough summer; they are going to pivot, George, because they believe that the first thing they should do is say that it was regrettable. She's said it herself. She said it was a mistake. And now beyond the contrition, they want to get back to the issues.

It won’t be that easy, as you know, because over the next couple of weeks, Chairman Gowdy will continue to try to bring up more trumped-up, trivial charges against Secretary Clinton.

And by the way, I looked at all her emails and I had no idea she likes "Parks and Recreation." So it's --


BRAZILE: -- but, George, this has been the summer where Bernie Sanders has been able to capitalize on not just some of the -- what I call the soft underbelly of the Clinton campaign, but also he's bringing in new voters. He's exciting people, the kind of people that you will need to win the caucuses in Iowa.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I want bring that to Katrina, because there's no question that Bernie Sanders could be quite strong in Iowa, quite strong; we're seeing in New Hampshire, I think in the Clinton campaign, hoping to build a firewall across the South.

Does Bernie Sanders really have what it takes to build a national campaign?

VANDEN HEUVEL: I think so. I think his -- you know, (INAUDIBLE) to be skeptical, but he has an electable agenda. He -- his issues are majority supported issues. He is building a team. His racial justice agenda is very powerful. He speaks to the inequality in this country, the structural racism. And I think he's shown his strength. So I think he can build it out.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And he's been a skilled candidate, there's no question about that, Matthew Dowd. But -- and when he was on with Martha Raddatz last week, he said, this is not anti-Hillary Clinton. It's about being pro-Bernie Sanders.

Is he right about that?

DOWD: Well, I think the fascinating thing is when these old political institutions begin to fall and deteriorate, which is what's happening and been happening, that the old rules no longer apply. The old rules that say you have to have all this organization in all these states, you have to raise all this money, you have to do this, and I think Bernie Sanders -- to me, the driving force of Bernie Sanders is actually similar to what's going on on the Republican side, which is authenticity.

He is viewed as the most authentic person in that race. He doesn’t dress up. He comes out and says his message. He's actually very thoughtful. He's somebody that's actually opposite of Donald Trump's authenticity, which is an authenticity without a lot of philosophy and thought behind it.

Bernie Sanders has a lot of thought and a lot of philosophy behind it. I don't -- I underestimate Bernie Sanders. It depends on who else might get in this race. Bernie Sanders could easily win the Democratic nomination. And if it's Bernie Sanders and going really is our last -- and it's Donald Trump on the Republican side, Bernie Sanders could get elected president --


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- Bernie Sanders versus Donald Trump for (INAUDIBLE) today -- you talked about other candidates maybe getting into the race. We saw Joe Biden out there again this week. And as he was talking about what is clearly an emotional decision, it seemed like a man to me who wasn’t ready to get in.

KRISTOL: I don't know. That is a personal decision. But he's only been doing everything he should be doing if he were going to run to the last month.

So I rather think he does get in; I don't know whether he can overtake Hillary Clinton or it becomes a three-way race. I think at that point, Elizabeth Warren has to look at the race.

She is really who the Democratic Party would like to nominate. She has Bernie Sanders' economic message and she would be a first woman nominee and conceivably president. So she's --


KRISTOL: -- seriously, why doesn’t she combine the best of Sanders and Clinton?

Can she still get in? I don't know. Maybe Biden says I intend to nominate -- to pick -- Elizabeth Warren's my vice presidential candidate and you get a de facto Biden-Warren ticket, I think that would be pretty powerful.

BRAZILE: You know, for all of the -- I call it anti-Clinton drama out there, she is still wildly popular within the Democratic Party; her numbers are very strong despite the so-called horse race.

But you know, let me just say something about Joe Biden. I mean, it is a very tough, emotional call for him. Many of the people who I know have talked to him and he's listening to a lot of people, believe that the door is still open. But you know, at the end of the day, Joe Biden has to make a decision pretty soon, not only because of the Democratic debates coming up but, as you well know, George, we have something called an invisible primary within the Democratic Party and some of those players are already coalescing; some of them have already thrown their support behind Secretary Clinton.

Bernie Sanders, he's getting a lot of support as well from the invisible primary. But Joe Biden is a --


VANDEN HEUVEL: I laugh because the invisible primary surfaces now because I think the money piece of this election is going to probably drive to a brokered GOP convention. You have all of these candidates with their super PACs and people aren't going to drop out as they usually do.

I do want to agree with Donna; I think Hillary Clinton could be a very strong candidate. I think she should call for more debate, open that process up. She was a strong debater in 2008.

I think she needs to show that she can speak about something else than the emails which the media -- I would think it's a legitimate but it's become obsessive -- I think it's an amazing moment when three of the top Democratic candidates have a program for debt-free student education.

I mean, these are ideas. And Bernie Sanders and his authenticity (INAUDIBLE) --


DOWD: -- started this race and everybody was like, well, this is going to be Jeb Bush versus Hillary Clinton, two dynasties, da-da-da. The American public has basically now said we don’t want two dynasties.

But Jeb Bush has now deteriorated in the course of the polls. We have Bernie Sanders rising and goes against another dynasty. And in the course of this, I think the rules -- as I say, the rules are all broken. The old rules are all broken.

KRISTOL: But there's a big difference, which is the Republicans have a problem. They have an unnominatable (sic), I think, and unelectable front-runner. But he will not end up being the nominee. And meanwhile there's people in the race, like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz and John Kasich and Carly Fiorina and Jeb Bush, who could be --


KRISTOL: -- had a wedding scheduled and now they're nervous that, oh, my god --

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- a year from now Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton are the nominees.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Two more candidates up next: for the GOP, John Kasich. Can experience sell in the year in the outsider?

And the latest Democrat, a Harvard professor who loved Ronald Reagan. He's got the most radical campaign promise yet and we'll be right back.



GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's time that Americans stopped being in a bad mood and complaining about things. We live in a unbelievable country. Do we have our problems? Well, why don't we get up tomorrow morning and why don't we count our blessings for having been born in the United States of America, OK? We have our problems. But they can be solved.


STEPHANOPOULOS: There is Governor John Kasich in New Hampshire THIS WEEK. He joins us now.

Welcome, Governor Kasich, welcome back to THIS WEEK. You're trying to run a positive campaign; now you're trying to run a campaign based on experience: governor of Ohio, 18 years in Congress as well.

How are you going to sell that -- and we were just talking about it, the year of the outsider?

KASICH: Well, George, you know, in a very short period of time, I've risen to 2nd place in New Hampshire --


STEPHANOPOULOS: Brand new poll out this morning.

KASICH: -- and when we talk about all these national polls, I mean, those -- and we don't run a race for president based on national polls. We go state by state. And so, you know, we are going to have a presence in Iowa. We're very aggressive in New Hampshire with some of Tom Rath (ph), John Sununu, some of the biggest people helping me. We put people on the ground now in South Carolina, in Michigan. And, you know, I've been endorsed by Trent Lott lately, the governor of Alabama.

You know, look, we're moving in many different directions.

And here's what I think, are people upset? Of course they are. But at the end of the day, they want somebody who can land the plane. I mean, that's what the whole panel needs to understand. At the end of the day, they're going to want somebody who can actually get the job done. And as for me, balancing the federal budget, one of the architects, turning Ohio around, the fence experience.

And look, I'm just being myself. I'm having a great time on the campaign trail. We meet a lot of people and it's great.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What happens to all that energy? You get two-thirds of Republican primary voters saying they want someone without government experience in some national polls. What is that about? How do you counter it?

KASICH: Well, George, the only thing I can tell you is when I'm in New Hampshire or Iowa or South Carolina, wherever I go, you know, we're getting very big crowds now in New Hampshire on a comparative basis. And, you know, I think you listen to what people want. My father, you know, carrying mail. I come from a blue collar community as a boy where if the wind blew the wrong way people felt themselves out of work.

You've known me a long time. And you know that most of my career I have been, you know, a change agent. And I think people want a change agent. But I think they also want to make sure that whoever they select is somebody that can move the country in the right direction.

So, acknowledge what it is that they're concerned about, appreciate the fact that we weren't born in Syria. We live in America, thank god, with so many opportunities. And then, you know, we can tackle these things. We can do it.

I think at the end of the day, this all settles down.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You mentioned, Syria, let me ask you about that. That refugee crisis so heartbreaking. Many now calling for the United States to take in more of those refugees. Should they?

KASICH: Well, I think we have a responsibility here, but I think this fundamentally falls on Europe. And, you know, as tragic as this event is, and it is, maybe this is an opportunity for the United States and the western world to get its -- to work together to solve what is an unbelievable crisis. And I think we do have a responsibility in terms of taking some more folks in, making sure they assimilate, and at the same time helping people to actually be safe as they move. That's logistical support.

But this is fundamentally an issue that Europe has to come to grips with. We can provide some humanitarian aid to them. But here's the story, George, when the United States does not lead we get chaos in the world. We should have been supporting the Syrian rebels years ago. I pitched Boehner and McCain on it, the administration ignored it. And the simple fact of the matter is we should have been supporting the opposition to Assad. This thing could be over by now. But when the United States draws red lines and walks away and we don't have any solid policy, it sows confusion, disarray, and we see human tragedy unfolding right before our eyes.

But hopefully they'll get their act together. And people will be able to have a decent life.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, we saw Governor Huckabee earlier in the program say that he stands by Kim Davis, her decision not to issue those marriage licenses. Do you agree with that?

KASICH: No, I don't agree with him. I think, you know, the court has spoken, the court has ruled as everyone know. I -- or most people know, I believe in traditional marriage, but the court has ruled.

But George, there's one other big issue here, we have a lot of young people who sit on the fence on an issue like this. And they also think about their, you know, their belief in god. And you know for me I think we need to talk a lot about the dos, about humility, about helping our neighbor, about the need to live a life bigger than ourselves. And when we see these kind of battles going on I get a little bit afraid that it turns people off to the idea of faith in god, what it means to be a Christian.

For me, it's giving me a solid foundation to deal with the strong winds in life, to be a better person, a better guy.

Now, I respect the fact that this lady doesn't agree, but she's also a government employee. She's not running a church. I wouldn't force this on a church, but in terms of her responsibility I think she has to comply. I don't think -- I don't like the fact that she's sitting in a jail, that's just absurd as well. But I think she should follow the law.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Kasich, thanks for your time this morning.

KASICH: All right. Thank you, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Turn now to the newest, and believe it or not, most unusual candidate for president this year. His name is Lawrence Lessig. Harvard Law professor, a hero in the movement, to open up the internet and our democracy. And this morning, his online campaign topped the million dollar stack he needs to launch his campaign.

His platform, comprehensive campaign finance and election reform, is backed by a promise no candidate has ever made before: if Lessig passes that platform, he will resign and turn over power to his vice president.

Professor Lessig, welcome to THIS WEEK. You're in?

LAWRENCE LESSIG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm great. I'm in, George. It's great to be here.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, what exactly are you running to do?

LESSIG: Well, I think I'm running to get people to acknowledge the elephant in the room, right. We have to recognize we have a government that does not work. This stalemate, partisan platform of American politics in Washington right now doesn't work. And we have to find a way to elevate the debate to focus on the changes that would actually get us a government that could work again, that is not captured by the tiniest fraction of the 1 percent who fund campaigns and make it impossible for our government...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, campaign finance reform, voting rights reform?

LESSIG: And also dealing with crazy way we have political gerrymandering where politicians pick the voters rather than the voters pick the politicians.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you're saying that if you run, if you are running, if you win, if you become president and you pass that platform, you'll resign?

LESSIG: That's right. Because what we need is a focus that could cut across partisan lines and say this is the mandate. The mandate is to achieve this fix to the corrupted system, to fix the democracy first. And the only way I could have that mandate, or anybody could have that mandate, is that this is the thing they ran on.

If you have seven other issues that you're running on, that of course you get into Washington and everybody thinks your mandate is one of this or one of that. And that's not going to make it possible to take this on.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That puts a lot of weight on who your vice president is. Your website has a graphic showing the possible candidates for vice president. You're putting an online poll up there right now. That is not the right graphic right there. We'll fix that in just a second.

But it does put so much weight on that. Who would be your vice president? And can you really trust that that person will carry out your agenda? Or it won't matter after that.

LESSIG: Well, I'm absolutely sure we can trust. I mean, of course the vice president has to be consistent with the values of the Democratic Party, and I'm very much committed to having a candidate who could excite the Democratic base.

But the point is to have a stage in this campaign, you know a stage in this debate right now, where we're talking about something other than just the horse race between Democrats and Republicans, where we can have an argument about a principle that in fact most Americans agree about.

There is no strong standard in America that says we should not have equal citizens in America, that it's OK that the tiniest fraction, that 400 families, have given half the money in this cycle so far.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The other Democrats basically agree with your agenda as well. And that's caused some of your critics to say this is just a stunt. Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution has just compared you to Donald Trump. And he calls your effort absurd. Here's what he said. He said, "Lessig's political reform agenda is stymied by Republicans, not Democrats. Why not direct his energies where the opposition resides? All the current Democratic presidential candidates support the thrust of these reforms. But saying that this is their highest priority is likely to harm, not boost their candidacies and this effort."

LESSIG: Right. So, none of them are day one candidates. None of them are yet saying this is what I'm going to do on day one. And that's what I think we have to have. To make any of the other changes they're talking about, changes I love, even credible.

Now Thomas Mann says I'm dumbing down the debate because I'm not saying go out there and elect Democrats. I think we've had enough of that kind of partisan framing of how to fix American politics.

Look, I'm a Democrat. I would love to be in the days when we could have a super majority in the Senate and a majority in the House. That's not reality.

So rather than dumbing down the debate by reinforcing the partisan divide, we have to elevate the debate and get to a principle that, in fact, Americans agree about, that would fix this democracy and make it possible for government to actually do something without fear of what the funders want them to do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you -- is it all right -- a supporter of President Obama could argue, wait a second, the problems you raise didn't prevent health care from being implemented, Dodd-Frank from being implemented, all kinds of reforms over the last four years.

LESSIG: Yes, they could say that, but of course, you have to remember when health care was passed, we had a super majority in the Senate and we had a majority in the House. And even health care had to make important compromises to the special interests so drug prices can't be negotiated because pharmaceutical companies said they would spend millions to defeat Democrats and the public option that the president promised was thrown out the window when insurance companies said they would spend millions to defeat Democrats.

So even the most important thing he did -- and I'm a big supporter of the president, he's been an amazing president -- but the most important thing he did is compromised by the corrupt way in which we fund campaigns.

And Dodd-Frank, look, every Democrat is talking now about how to -- we have to go back and have a new law to take on Wall Street.

But you can't take on Wall Street, George, until you change the way campaigns are funded, because the biggest funder of campaigns in Congress is Wall Street.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Lawrence Lessig, thanks very much.

You hit your million dollars. Let's see if you hit 1 percent in the polls and get into the debates.

LESSIG: Thank you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks for coming on this morning.

When we come back, America's top general in our Sunday Spotlight after this from our ABC stations.


STEPHANOPOULOS: In this week's Sunday Spotlight, America's top general, Martin Dempsey.

On October 1st, he steps down as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the president's principal military adviser.

And he sat down with Martha Raddatz to reflect on his life in the military, his work with President Obama and the challenges his successor will face.


MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In his four years as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey has seen the destruction in Iraq, the devastation in Syria, and this week, that gut-wrenching reminder of the human toll.

GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: I've been reflecting about what's changed since I became the chairman. And one of the things that's changed is the prominence of this refugee and internally displaced person problem. And it is a huge problem.

RADDATZ (on camera): How much responsibility does the U.S. have because of places like Syria, because of places like Iraq?

DEMPSEY: It's a shared responsibility among, you know, the civilized nation-states of the world.

RADDATZ (voice-over): One of the underlying issues is, of course, ISIS. Dempsey, who never supported a no-fly zone in Syria or American ground combat troops in Iraq, has critics calling him a reluctant warrior with a legacy of caution.

(on camera): Is that the legacy you're after?

DEMPSEY: Well, look, I think the legacy -- I'm OK with cautious, by the way. I mean, you know, the -- a military leader should always understand that of all the human endeavors, the one that's the most unpredictable and the most costly is warfare.

RADDATZ (voice-over): That perspective comes through his own 41 years in the Army, through multiple tours in Iraq, through years at Central Command overseeing the most volatile places in the world, experience that has brought him great pain and immense pride.

Watching the first two females ever to graduate from the notorious grueling Ranger's School, this fellow West Pointer, back when it was all male, reached for the phone.

DEMPSEY: It was one of the most uplifting, inspiring phone calls that I -- that I've been able to make as chairman. They were proud that they graduated, clearly. And they were well aware of the historical implications of it. But they were talking about their Ranger buddies, right?

RADDATZ (on camera): And they were talking about the women.

DEMPSEY: About them. Yes. And so if they made it through that course and coming out the other end, had earned the trust of their male counterparts, that's profound.

RADDATZ (voice-over): Dempsey's own daughter served in the military. His son still does.

(on camera): Tell me your hardest day in your Army career.

DEMPSEY: The toughest day I've had was a West Point classmate of my son was killed in Afghanistan, a young man named Tom Kennedy, just a terrific kid. And I went over to meet him at Dover. Heart-wrenching. At the same time, inspirational to watch his family, you know, rally around his wife and -- and by the way, we -- we stay in touch with them even today.

Those kind of days are unimaginable.


DEMPSEY: Pardon me.

RADDATZ (voice-over): General Dempsey's wife, Deanie, has been a big part of the family commitment to service, not only to those serving today, but those left behind.

DEMPSEY: My wife Deanie and I are delighted to be here.

RADDATZ: For the Dempseys, coping with the loss has been eased by the general's surprising gift.


RADDATZ: I know you love to sing. So I've seen you sing at the Bob Woodruff Foundation. Talk about what that means to you and -- and sort of the best of what you've added with that voice.

DEMPSEY: Believe it or not, it's easier to sing over emotions than it is to speak over emotions. And so I remember going to "Taps" one year. There was an auditorium of 600 kids who had lost their par -- one of their parents in combat.

I was absolutely overcome by that, you know. So I started singing to get through it.


RADDATZ (voice-over): General Dempsey will keep on singing when he leaves the Pentagon and keep on remembering those who didn't make it back. When he walks out of his office for the last time, he will take with him a box. Inside, the names of all those service members who died under his command.

(on camera): When you look back at that and all those losses...

DEMPSEY: Yes. Yes. You know, back to your point about caution, it's -- and this has nothing to do with the number of casualties we've taken, our soldiers have lost, but you know this. On my desk, I have a box and it says "make it matter."

That's my legacy.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks to General Dempsey and his family for their service.

Thanks to Martha for bringing us his story.

That is all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us.

Check out "WORLD NEWS TONIGHT" and I'll see you tomorrow on "GMA."