'This Week' Transcript: Sen. Roy Blunt

Sen. Roy Blunt is interviewed on 'This Week'

ByABC News
March 15, 2015, 10:45 AM

— -- Below is a rush transcript for March 15, 2015. It may contain errors and will be updated.

ANNOUNCER: Now on ABC THIS WEEK, the Hillary e-mail story churning. The new steps Congress is preparing to take right now.

Extreme measures -- blowback over that letter from Republican senators to Iran -- the harsh new words from President Obama this morning.

Manhunt -- investigators worked around the clock in Ferguson.

Are they closer to tracking down suspects in the shooting of two police officers?

And will voters now recall the mayor?

And Egypt's Jon Stewart hits New York -- could Bassem Youssef be the sleeper candidate to take over "The Daily Show?"


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to step into those shoes?



GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST: And let's get right to those new developments in the controversy over Hillary Clinton's e-mails.

ABC's Jonathan Karl has learned that House Speaker John Boehner is poised to announce a new investigation.

He's joining us now with the details -- good morning, Jon.

JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: George, Hillary Clinton may have hoped that she has put the e-mail controversy behind her with that press conference, but the investigations are now about to begin.


KARL (voice-over): Top House Republicans tell ABC News they expect Speaker John Boehner to announce a new House investigation next week into Hillary Clinton's e-mail practices as secretary of State, including her admitted destruction of some 30,000 e-mails that she determined to be purely personal.

As for how Mrs. Clinton has handled the controversy so far, it seemed like a case study in how not to do damage control.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She did not want to have two phones. She couldn't be like, hey, man, could you hold this other phone for me?

KARL: Nine days of silence and then the reason she finally gave for not using government e-mail at all -- it would have been inconvenient.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I thought using one device would be simpler and obviously it hasn't worked out that way.

KARL: Under State Department rules, while she was secretary, if an employee used a private e-mail account for official business, the e-mail was to be turned over and entered into government computers.

She didn't turn over any e-mails until 22 months after she left office.

(on camera): Why did you not go along with State Department rules until nearly two years after you left office?

CLINTON: The laws and regulations in effect when I was secretary of State allowed me to use my e-mail for work.

KARL: Why did you wait two months to turn those e-mails over?

I mean the rules say you have to turn them over.

CLINTON: Look, I don't think...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Secretary Clinton...

CLINTON: I -- I'd be happy to have somebody talk to you about the rules. I fully complied with every rule that I was governed by.

KARL (voice-over): Seeing Mrs. Clinton on the defensive may be giving some Democrats second thoughts. ;as one former Obama aide told Politico, "You never feel like you're quite getting the full story.

But will it matter to voters?

In the polls since the controversy began, only 17 percent said they are following the story closely and she still has one of the highest approval ratings among all likely candidates, 50 percent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a hiccup. I have no concerns about what she did.


KARL: And the e-mail mess has gotten more complicated. The State Department is now acknowledging that it was not routinely preserving any e-mails, not even those sent to and from official State Department e-mail accounts.

So, George, while Hillary Clinton said that the e-mails that she was sending to employees on their State Department e-mail accounts were being preserved, it now turns out that that was often not the case.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And lots more questions coming from Congress.

OK, Jon, thanks very much.

Let's dig into this now with James Carville, long-time Clinton ally, Ana Navarro, confidante of Jeb Bush, Republican strategist, Greta van Susteren from Fox News and the editor of "The New Yorker," David Remnick.

Welcome to all of you.

James, let me begin with you.


STEPHANOPOULOS: I heard you laughing during that part that Democrats are having second thoughts.

But what has the Clinton camp taken away from this?

CARVILLE: Well, first of all, we've go to start with what a former Obama aide had concerns. OK. But let's get serious here.

What this is is the latest in a continuation and if you take it all and you put it together and you subtract 3.1415 from pi, you're left with not very much. And that's what -- at the end of the day, so the Republicans can't pass a budget. All right, we've got another investigation, just like we had the Whitewater, just like you go through the Filegate, you go through Travelgate, you go through seven or eight different Congressional committees you wonder why the public is not following this. Because they know what it is.

It was something that she did. It was legal. I suspect she didn't want Louis Gohmert rifling through her e-mails, which seems to me to be a kind of reasonable position for someone to take.

So it amounts to -- just like everything else before it, it amounts to nothing but a bunch of people flapping their jaws about nothing.


GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Not one of us, not the -- I don't know if it's illegal. We need a lot more facts. But it certainly violated the spirit of the law. She should have done it.

What I can't get over is like how stupid. I mean she must have known that everyone would be looking at everything she did.

And what in the world was she thinking?

That's what I don't get over is that, you know, she should have known better from the very -- from the get-go.

And, frankly, last August, when Trey Gowdy, chairman of the committee, wanted to -- first got wind of the fact that these e-mails existed, why didn't someone run over and negotiate a deal with her?

Instead this blows up all over her.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, maybe she was thinking, Ana Navarro, that those investigations were going to come no matter what.

ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: She's always thinking that there's investigations that are going to come no matter what. That's why she's got this level of paranoia and this need for control and this secrecy. And that's why she set this up.

This wasn't for convenience.

Listen, let me tell you, I want to thank James for reminding us of all of the other scandals...


NAVARRO: -- because what -- part of the problem with this...


NAVARRO: -- is that it brings back the narrative that with the (inaudible) blurred lines...

CARVILLE: No, no, no.

NAVARRO: -- like the song says. And it -- and there comes drama and scandal.


NAVARRO: -- it's just one more strike...

CARVILLE: No, no, no, no. It's made up.

NAVARRO: -- on the zebra.

CARVILLE: It's made up. You take pi, you subtract 3.1415 and you don't end up with very much.


DAVID REMNICK, "THE NEW YORKER": I don't even understand what James just said. But...


REMNICK: -- here's the thing. I -- I wish...

NAVARRO: I think that was...


REMNICK: -- I wish this were more convincing. I wish this were more convincing.


STEPHANOPOULOS: You weren't convinced by the press conference, either.

REMNICK: Not at all. I thought that performance was -- look, it's one thing for a politician to be stupid, which Hillary Clinton is not. It's quite another for a politician to believe that we're stupid. And that is deflating.

Look, a lot of people that I know, and myself included, are not likely to vote for a conservative Republican come 20 months from now. But, you know, all of your readers are in that camp. And they want Hillary Clinton to be the best Hillary Clinton she can be in the absence of any competition in the Democratic Party, which is also think is a bad thing.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Wait, they can -- that's going to make it difficult for her to get into fighting shape.

REMNICK: Well, look at the Obama-Clinton race, you know, in 2008. That made both candidates a hell of a lot better, clearly.

So in the absence of competition, to have to see a deflating spectacle like we saw at that press conference...


REMNICK: -- just one second, it -- it just brings back a lot of bad memories and bad instincts on the part of the Clintons.

James, it's absolutely right that there were a lot of false scandals. But there was also a lot of stuff that...


VAN SUSTEREN: I don't think...

REMNICK: Historically...


VAN SUSTEREN: I don't think it's going to change one vote. People who hated her from the beginning hated her. Those who loved her from the beginning love her. It's in -- people in the middle that probably haven't even heard much about it and a year from now, it's probably going to be a lot of noise.

I think the...


REMNICK: Yes, but I don't think...


REMNICK: I don't think people want...

NAVARRO: -- she gave ammunition...


REMNICK: I don't think people want...


REMNICK: I don't think people want to vote with a sense of resignation...


REMNICK: -- with a sense of enthusiasm.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But I want to bring the -- let me go back to my original question to you, James. I mean, all right, taking your points about there's, you know, a lot of these scandals in the past have sort of evaporated over...

CARVILLE: No, that is not...

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- time. But the Clinton camp...


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- did demonstrate, I think, in the last 10 days, that they weren't up to speed. It took them an awful long time...

CARVILLE: All right...

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- to figure out where that story was...


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- and to respond.

CARVILLE: This is not just spin. I actually believe this, all right?


CARVILLE: In some ways, this is good, because it reminds everybody of what it is. And so this happened and it's never going to stop, right, because it's what I call the Clinton Rule. There's a rule that applies to the Clintons and then there's a press rule that applies to everybody else.


NAVARRO: We agree.


NAVARRO: They say they're...


NAVARRO: -- above the rules.



NAVARRO: -- some of the e-mails...


CARVILLE: Again...


CARVILLE: -- again, so this is what if. There are people out there like me that don't accept that.

NAVARRO: But you...

CARVILLE: We don't accept the standard that some rule applies to the Clintons -- (inaudible) -- and other rules applies to everybody else.

NAVARRO: But James, she...


VAN SUSTEREN: James, you just stepped in it. You just stepped in it.


VAN SUSTEREN: I'll tell you why you stepped in it.

CARVILLE: No, I didn't.

VAN SUSTEREN: Because that's the whole idea that the rule on the e-mails...


VAN SUSTEREN: -- applies to them and not...


VAN SUSTEREN: -- to everybody else.

CARVILLE: Colin Powell does the same thing. Jeb Bush does the same thing and you said, well, that's Colin Powell. It -- no, it's -- what she did was completely legal...


CARVILLE: -- just as what Jeb Bush did and Colin Powell did was legal...


CARVILLE: We do not...


CARVILLE: -- we do not accept it.


NAVARRO: Let me address...



NAVARRO: -- address, please, this Jeb Bush thing, because it's been the talking point du jour...


NAVARRO: -- for all the Democrats.

Let me tell you this.


NAVARRO: I'm a little bit familiar...


NAVARRO: -- well, let me just say this...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- "The Washington Post" that Jeb Bush was...


NAVARRO: May I please...


NAVARRO: -- respond?


NAVARRO: I'm a little familiar with this e-mail...


NAVARRO: -- because I have been e-mailing that e-mail since before Jeb Bush was governor. So Jeb Bush had that e-mail before he was governor.

Hillary set hers up the week she was in confirmation. Jeb Bush has been...


NAVARRO: -- one of the most transparent, if not the most transparent...


STEPHANOPOULOS: But wait a second...

NAVARRO: -- governor...



NAVARRO: Everybody has...


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- a fact that he's turned over...

NAVARRO: -- his e-mail.

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- over only a fraction of his e-mail.

CARVILLE: Ten percent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's just a fact. That's a fact.

NAVARRO: There's 300,000 e-mails out there.


NAVARRO: How many out there are out there...


NAVARRO: -- of Hillary's e-mails...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you saying...




NAVARRO: And he has self-reported. Let's remember that these e-mails that Hillary is, at some point, going to turn over to the public, have been coming out under duress because of investigations.

CARVILLE: Listen to this.

NAVARRO: You know, Jeb Bush -- and you know what?

Let's talk about the fact of how they've handled this politically. Forget the merits.


NAVARRO: Let's now argue -- for a minute, let's just entertain...


NAVARRO: -- that it's apples and apples.


NAVARRO: Jeb Bush got ahead of the story.


NAVARRO: James, it took God...


NAVARRO: -- six days to create the Earth.


NAVARRO: It took Hillary Clinton eight days to address the media.


CARVILLE: -- we got out a lot of talking points and we're going to filibuster. The simple truth of they matter is...


CARVILLE: -- Jeb Bush has released 10 percent of his e-mails. He had a private e-mail server. He -- he destroyed his e-mails.

But when I say to Clinton standard, I mean this: the press applies -- they (inaudible) this story came from the Benghazi Republicans on the thing, if you remember the New York Times printed a story about weapons of mass destruction that came from Dick Cheney's office who again went out and tallied that as a reason to go to war.

The Whitewater story comes from a bunch of old washed up segs (ph) in the...


STEPHANOPOULOS: I take every single point you make. And we do have to take a quick break. But the fact is still the Clintons are still dealing with them in the same way and that's actually what's dispiriting.

REMNICK: And I think potential support -- this kind of back and forth, with due respect, if that's going to be the nature of our campaign in the next 20 months with issues like violence against women all around the world, the disparities in income and the insecurity and instability of the Middle East and Europe at stake, and people's livelihoods at stake, if this is going to be what's at issue in the next 20 months we're in very sad shape.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And actually we have to get to one of those other issues, you guys are all going to have to come back a little bit (inaudible) Republican side.

But we're going to get the latest now on those high stakes nuclear talks with Iran. Secretary Kerry back in Switzerland this morning as the white House sends a blistering letter to the senate overnight, warning against any action that could tank the deal. This all comes amid the controversy over that Senate letter to the leaders of Iran. Here's Martha Raddatz.


MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: President Obama taking his latest shot at those 47 Republican Senators in an interview airing tomorrow on vice news.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm embarrassed for them. For them to address a letter to the ayatollah who they claim is our mortal enemy, that's close to unprecedented.

RADDATZ: The uproar over the letter growing just 16 days from the next deadlines for nuclear talks between Iran and the U.S.

The letter warns any deal with Iran must be approved by congress or the next president could revoke it with the stroke of a pen. Iran's ayatollah firing back, saying it was a sign of Washington disintegrating.

And now, even some who signed it, having second thoughts on the strategy.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: Maybe that wasn't exactly the best way to do that.

RADDATZ: But the man who wrote it isn't backing down.

SEN. TOM COTTON, (R) COLORADO: We're simply trying to say that congress has a constitutional role to approve any deal to make sure that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon.

RADDATZ: And Senator Marco Rubio took his defense of the letter and frustration with the talks even further saying negotiations were hurting the fight against ISIS.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA: In essence, the way we've proceeded with our negotiations in Iran have impacted our trust level with these critical allies in this coalition. Is that accurate?

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Actually, that is flat wrong, also. Flat wrong.

This is about a nuclear weapon potential. That's it. And the president has made it absolutely clear they will not get a nuclear weapon.

RADDATZ: The White House is firm it does not need congressional approval for a deal at this point, but down the road if the president wants to role back sanctions against Iran, it might be a different story.

For This Week, Martha Raddatz, ABC News, Washington.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks to Martha for that.

We're joined now by a key member of the Republican leadership, Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri.

You signed the letter, senator. Good morning, thanks for joining us.

And we just heard in that piece Senator John McCain thinks some second thoughts about the strategy. What your colleague Ron Johnson also says now that it might have been done in a different way.

Do you have any second thoughts?

SEN. ROY BLUNT, (R) MISSOURI: No, I really don't, George. I think what was interesting here was how aggressive the administration reacted, how aggressively the Iranians reacted. That letter was essentially an op ed. It was released in every paper in the country. It said what frankly I'd been saying for a year and what the Senate foreign relations committee has been saying for six months, which is there is a constitutional role here for the Senate if you want this agreement to be permanent, binding and long-term.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But one of the things you're seeing in the White House sending a new letter overnight to Senator Bob Corker who did not sign the letter, the chairman of the foreign relations committee suggesting that this letter could backfire, this action from congress could backfire.

And even if there is no deal, which is your goal right now, it will make it tougher to get the allies to go along with the crippling sanctions you want.

BLUNT: Well, no deal is better than a bad deal. And Senator Corker sent his own letter, which said don't go to the United Nations instead of the United States congress and the president sent a letter back and the secretary of state said, well, you know we're obviously going to have -- I think it was the chief of staff said, no, we're going to have to go to the UN, but we'd prefer not to go to the congress.

I think that just denies the long-term stability that any agreement with Iran needs. And of course we've shifted so dramatically from where we started, which was no enrichment, no nuclear weapon to now we're OK, we want some time and space between when you can have nuclear weapons and we're going to let you -- we're going to understand you're going to have capacity to do that. I think these negotiations have gone in a dramatically bad direction.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But Senator, you say that no deal is better than a bad deal, does that really hold if the allies blame the United States for undermining the deal and therefore don't go along with the kind of sanctions you're calling for?

BLUNT: Well, I think Susan Rice actually said the other day at the APEC conference no deal is better than a bad deal. In that case, I certainly agree.

We are so far from where we started here, George -- and I can't frankly imagine anything more destabilizing to the Middle East or the decades in front of us, than a nuclear capable Iran. Why we would be moving in that direction with now negotiating the months that you'd need between the time they say we can have a nuclear weapon and they have one, or an end time when there's no restrictions at all -- I assume what the administration is now playing for is hoping before you get to that end date, there is a better government in Iran that wouldn't want to continually destabilize the world.

There are already largely impacting the events in five capitals that they have control over, but there are many capitals in the Middle East that are very, very concerned about what will happen. And they'll, George, want their nuclear weapon as well if we go down this path.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me turn to the controversy over Hillary Clinton's emails. You just heard Jon Karl report that House Speaker John Boehner poised to announce a new investigation. Do you expect a new investigation in the Senate as well?

BLUNT: I don't know what will happen in the Senate. I do think this is reminiscent just as the panel you had on was of what the Clinton years were like. One of my favorite commentators last week said the Clintons could find a loophole in a stop sign. And I think we're reminded of what it's like when in spite of what Mr. Carville says the rules that apply to them they clearly don't think are the rules that should apply to everybody else.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How do you respond, though, to critics who say that it's kind of rich for congress to call for these investigations to level criticism like that when congress exempts itself from the very reporting requirements that it imposes on other federal officials?

BLUNT: Well, the obligations to congress here are different than the obligations for the secretary of state. In fact, the obligations for secretary of state to have a record, to maintain that record, to know what that record was, are critical because that person is a critical negotiator just like John Kerry is.

But go back to the other point, they are a critical negotiator, but there is a constitutional process here that you have to go through.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me turn now to the situation in Ferguson, Missouri. Of course, you're the senator from Missouri.

We saw this week those officers shot after the demonstrations after the city managers decided to resign, the police chief decided to resign. What should happen now in Ferguson?

BLUNT: Well, you know, we need to look for everything we can to move forward.

Ferguson and the country -- the country is better than it was 50 years ago when John Lewis led that march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge, but we're not nearly all we should be. We ought to be working on that.

I think what happened this week goes back to August when so much sudden obligation was placed on how the police were responding to peaceful protesters, and not so peaceful protesters after the unfortunate, the tragic end to the life of Michael Brown and all the tragedy that brought on everybody involved.

But we need to begin to look at how we move forward. You don't move forward by talking about things like the militarization of the police, which really is decisions that need to be made by the police of how they protect themselves and how they protect others in the hard job they have to do. And nobody is opposed to peaceful protests here, but at some point that protest needs to what do we do about schools that need to work better than they're working and support systems for young men and women that need to be more than they are for people who don't have all the encouragement that they need and they don't wind up with opportunities.

We need to be focused on how we move forward.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Blunt, thanks very much for your time this morning.

BLUNT: Thank you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Coming up, we're going to have more on that manhunt in Ferguson. A new effort to recall the city's mayor.

Plus, the Scott Walker/Jeb Bush battle heating up. What they're saying about each other in New Hampshire this weekend.

And later, is Jim Webb ready for Hillary? We're back in just two minutes.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Coming up, we're going to have more on that manhunt in Ferguson. A new effort to recall the city's mayor.

Plus, the Scott Walker/Jeb Bush battle heating up. What they're saying about each other in New Hampshire this weekend.

And later, is Jim Webb ready for Hillary? We're back in just two minutes.



STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): In today's closer look, the turmoil in Ferguson. This morning there is a new effort to recall the mayor as police continue to search for the suspect who shot two officers during a demonstration Wednesday night.

ABC's Pierre Thomas has more on a city divided over racist practices and the path to healing.


PIERRE THOMAS, ABC NEWS SR. JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When shots rang out early Thursday morning, hitting two police officers in Ferguson, it was clear this community was far from healed.

Now the manhunt continues for the coldblooded shooter before he can strike again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was a damn punk who was trying to sow discord in an area that is trying to get its act together.

THOMAS (voice-over): ABC's Kenneth Gibson (ph) is on the ground in Ferguson.

KENNETH GIBSON, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: The county police say they have several leads, but so far no suspects or persons of interest. In the meantime, there's a petition circulating, seeking to recall the city of Ferguson's mayor. He says he has no plans to step down.

THOMAS (voice-over): The shooting came after a purge of city officials, including the police chief and city manager in the wake of that blistering Justice Department report that found systemic bias by police against African Americans in Ferguson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a whole structure there, according to the Justice Department report, that indicated both racism and just a disregard for what law enforcement's supposed to do.

THOMAS (voice-over): The Justice Department accusing the city of using traffic stops on minorities as a means of raising revenue for the city. Some had hoped the tumult in Ferguson was coming to an end. But this week's shootings renewed tensions in the small town, still standing in the shadow of the death of a black unarmed teenager at the hands of a white police officer. And now a volatile mix: a shooter on the loose as the protests go on. For THIS WEEK, Pierre Thomas, ABC News, Washington.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks to Pierre. We're joined now by the congressman who represents Ferguson, William Lacy Clay.

Congressman Clay, thank you so much for joining us again this morning. First thing, do you have any more information on this search for the suspects?

REP. WILLIAM LACY CLAY, D-MO.: We do not have any more information. We know that the two police officers have been released from the hospital. One will require additional surgery because there's still a bullet lodged behind his ear.

And we pray for his full recovery.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How about this effort to recall the mayor?

Do you support that?

CLAY: It -- the real test for the voters of Ferguson will be April the 7th in their municipal election and in the surrounding communities, George. If they were -- get enough signatures, on a petition to recall the mayor, then another election will be set and I will go about educating the voters of Ferguson on what their rights are and just how they can change their city government for the better.

You know, out of this practices and patterns report from DOJ, you can tell that it was system-wide, the way they targeted people of that community to -- as really a ATM machine to derive revenue in order to the city government to function. So it's -- they need to clean house from top to bottom.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So clean house from top to bottom. Does that mean dismantling the police force?

CLAY: It's possible. If that's what justified the existence of the police force, then, yes. The police force probably should be dismantled and allow the St. Louis County police a better trained force, a more qualified force, a larger force to actually come in and conduct policing in a totally different way that restores the trust of the people, that shows respect to the people who pay their salaries and to start and to stop judging people by the color of their skins and criminalizing it because of what color they are, which is evident -- is what was happening up to this point in Ferguson and surrounding communities.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, Congressman Clay, thanks very much for your time this morning.

Up next, the roundtable's back. How did they handicap the latest moves in the Republican race. We meet their vote -- take on a vote this week that could shake up more than one country as well. And we're back in just two minutes.



STEPHANOPOULOS: Up next, the roundtable's back. How did they handicap the latest moves in the Republican race. We meet their vote -- take on a vote this week that could shake up more than one country as well. And we're back in just two minutes.




STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): In this week's politics buzzboard, that brewing rivalry in the GOP race. Jeb Bush and Scott Walker both in New Hampshire this weekend and after calling himself a front runner and lumping Bush in with failed Republican nominees like Dole, McCain and Romney, Walker laid down the gauntlet with our New Hampshire powerhouse, WMUR.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the beater name from the past we need a name from the future.

STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): But Bush stood his ground on Common Core.

JEB BUSH, FORMER GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: I think you need to be genuine. I think you need to have a backbone.

STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): And took aim at Walker's flip on immigration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) the fact that we've got a strong reputation of keeping our word.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And we're back now with the roundtable.

Ana Navarro, they said you are a confidant of Jeb Bush. I'm surprised that it's gotten this direct this early between Walker and Bush, the two front-runners up in New Hampshire.

NAVARRO: I think it's fine. And I think it's going to -- frankly, I think it's the most fun and entertaining thing that we've seen going in politics. If I were a Democrat, I'd be briefing into a brown paper bag at the thought that there's going to be no primary because this primary processes sharpens political skills. It tests skills that makes good candidates and it gets rid of bad candidates.

So I think it's going to get tough and it's about to get tougher.


CARVILLE: (INAUDIBLE) my brown paper bag is popcorn --



CARVILLE: I mean, look, it's classic -- Jeb is -- I'm enjoying every minute of this. Every minute of it. And it'll be good for the Republican Party has to go through this. We certainly went through it in 2008. But the most interesting thing is Jeb Bush has got to do something about his polling number.


STEPHANOPOULOS: The NBC "Wall Street Journal" poll this week did show kind of the ceiling that Jeb Bush might have.

They asked what percentage can't see supporting one of those candidates and Jeb Bush, 42 percent of Republican primary voters saying they can't see supporting him, exceeding the limit, Chris Christie, there he's up there with Rand Paul, doing much better there; Scott Walker and Marco Rubio, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, but look, they're with the preseason we're talking about the Super Bowl. There's a long way between now --

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- bring that number down, though, to --


VAN SUSTEREN: -- let Ana do it. She can defend her candidate but or assume he's her candidate. But how many people really know Jeb Bush right now? They think Bush 41 and Bush 43 and he's going to have an opportunity to distinguish himself.

Now I have no idea what's going to happen in the end. I know there's a lot of fun watching Walker and Bush. But remember that the Republican Party, they love the primary but in the last two elections, they've nominated a moderate and Jeb Bush and Jeb Bush is more moderate than Governor Scott Walker, at least right now until they do all their movement and all their shifting.

I certainly don't take that number -- if I were Jeb Bush, that would not scare me away or give me more work to do.

REMNICK: Yes, we were talking about the politics of Argentina.


REMNICK: And how long the Kerchners have been running Argentina and we're now facing a presidential election in which the two major candidates on both sides kind of enforce this sense of exhaustion in one way or another.

The question is how much does the electorate care, how much do Democrats care about Clinton history, how much do Republicans care about the Bush history. Clearly Scott Walker is counting on hoping for the fact that he can meld a kind of right-wing ideological campaign with a sense of newness.

I'm not sure it can work --


NAVARRO: Look and first of all, nobody either in the Clinton camp or Bush camp have ever killed a prosecutor. So let's begin there with the differentiation with Argentina.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- I think both --


NAVARRO: I think both Jeb Bush and Scott Walker -- if they are in fact the front-runners and when they start running officially which haven't even begun --


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- ridiculous everybody saying they're not running. But go ahead.

NAVARRO: The official, you know, it ain't official until it's official.

But both of them have the challenge of making themselves known and for what they stand for. Walker has to deal with his record as governor and what he has done and what positions he has now that he may have changed on.

Jeb has got to deal with the challenge of showing that he's not just another Bush. Judge him for Jeb, not for the Bush --

STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, foreign policy also is going to be at the center of this primary debate and probably the general election as well.

Let me move to that now in the wake of this letter that the Republicans sent this week, the 47 Republican senators sent on Iran. It appears that they're getting some blowback, although you saw Senator Roy Blunt saying he has no second thoughts.

And I wonder if you combine that with the news now that there may also be some backfire, David Remnick, on Prime Minister Netanyahu in Israel, his visit to the Senate may be hurting him in this election in Israel coming up on Tuesday.

REMNICK: I think that speech in Congress may hurt him in the election campaign and also unbeknownst to most of the American public, a lot of this campaign in Israel is being conducted on economic terms. Nobody is discussing the Palestinian question, unfortunately. So that's number one.

I think the letter by -- that was initiated by Senator Cotton and it was signed by 46 other Republican senators, was a horrendous mistake on their part.

And if you read the text of the letter, it is the most condescending, infantile text, assuming that the leaders of Iran, whatever you may think of them, and they -- there's a lot in the record to think terribly of them, that they're somehow, they have no idea what the American system is all about. And it's an absurd, comical --


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- had second thoughts.

VAN SUSTEREN: As Senator McCain told me, he had second thoughts. But I actually -- I agree. I think that letter was horrific. It end-runs the President of the United States, which I think is terrible. They could achieve the same goal without sending a letter and becoming pen pals with the leadership in Iraq.

I likewise think it's terrible that the president is trying to end-run the United States Senate and not call this a treaty and follow our Article II, Section 2 clause 2 and get ratification of the Senate.

Now everyone can --

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- a precedent for that, though.

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't care. You know what, there's a lot of precedent for being slippery on the Constitution. But maybe we ought to step back and stop being slippery on the Constitution because you know, this is a deal between two nations.

Remember the Russian 2010 treaty that President Obama signed. It was about nuclear reduction and monitoring. That's a lot like what we were trying to do with Iran right now.


CARVILLE: -- Security Council plus one, Germany and France and Britain and China and Russia.

And Israel. This morning, OK, I talked about Paul Begala, who's over (INAUDIBLE) very involved, just left (INAUDIBLE). They expect that they're going to win.


CARVILLE: -- absolutely do, and unbeknownst -- and David made the -- the biggest issue is housing prices actually. Iran is not -- and also the Netanyahu visit to the Congress, he was even; now according to the public poll -- and he's (INAUDIBLE) down, his favorable in the United States went from +21 to +9 -- to 9- -- and a 21-point differential to a 9-point differential. If you believe the former head of the Mossad and Shin Bet, which is their CIA and FBI respectively, he's done damage to Israeli foreign policy.

This was a really stupid thing.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And we will find out --


NAVARRO: -- unpaid political ad against Netanyahu.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We've got to take a break.

But before we go, our "Powerhouse Puzzler."

So March Madness begins tonight. We find out then which teams are going to compete for the NCAA basketball championship. That's the inspiration for our question.

Name the first sitting president to attend a Final Four game.

Right back with the answer.



STEPHANOPOULOS: OK. Who was the first sitting president to attend a Final Four game? Let's see who got it.

Obama, no.

Clinton, Clinton, Clinton -- you guys are all right.


STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, thanks to all of you.

Coming up next, Jim Webb, warrior, senator and he's also getting ready to run for president right now. We're going to ask him about it in just two minutes.




JIM WEBB (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think I can safely say that I'm still the only person ever elected to statewide office in Virginia a union card, two Purple Hearts and three tattoos.


STEPHANOPOULOS: That is Jim Webb on the trail this week, running what may be a most unconventional run for president. He's an unconventional guy -- a Vietnam war hero, Reagan's Navy secretary, writer of 10 books and a film, too.

He left the Senate after one term.


WEBB: Your early support will be crucial as I evaluate whether we might overcome what many commentators see as nearly impossible odds.


STEPHANOPOULOS: So that announcement of a possible run for the White House took many by surprise.

The question now, is he serious about challenging Hillary?

And will Democrats respond to this call?


WEBB: Will you have the courage to provide a voice in the corridors of power for those who otherwise will have no voice?


STEPHANOPOULOS: And Jim Webb joins us now.

Welcome back, Senator.

WEBB: Good to see you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We saw the video. We saw your speech to the firefighters union. You're going to South Carolina this week.

What are you up to exactly?

WEBB: Well, we're actually truly exploring whether it is possible to conduct a viable campaign in this present environment, where the money is flooding the political process.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is it possible?

WEBB: I think it might be. We're -- we're listening. We've been around, we get a lot of support, you know, three people coming across e-mails, Internet. And, you know, for me, we need to be focusing on the dysfunction that's occurred in our economic system and also when you look at this issue that you were just discussing with the Iran situation, there are -- the true constitutional challenges in the relationship between the president and Congress.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to ask you about both. Now, you've written about the -- on Iran in the past about Congress basically becoming complacent, abdicating its responsibility on foreign affairs.

Does that mean that you actually support this initiative...

WEBB: Well, the...

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- on the Republican side?

WEBB: -- it's interesting because I -- I worked with Bob Corker a lot. We were on the Foreign Relations Committee together. He did not sign the letter that was addressed to the government of Iran, which I think was just a silly mistake.

But the issue itself...

STEPHANOPOULOS: You mean sending the letter or not signing it?

WEBB: Sending the letter was a -- a serious, I think, error. If -- if the Republicans wanted to address this issue. But I go all the way back to the Bush administration on the strategic framework agreement in Iraq, when President Obama went to Copenhagen on -- and announced that he was going to bring back, on the climate change, when -- he was going to bring back an -- a binding agreement without consulting the Congress, I wrote a letter to him on that.

The situation in Libya with the unilateral use of force at a time when there were no treaties in effect, no Americans at risk. I was very strong on that. Actually, Bob Corker and I were together. So...


WEBB: -- I think there's a legitimacy here in the notion that the executive branch has to come to the Congress on these issues that impact the country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Even if, in this case, it means there won't be a deal?

WEBB: Well, I think that you need to bring these things to the Congress. For instance, on the strategic framework agreement with Iraq with the Bush administration, we did not get a full discussion of that or the possibility of voting on it. The Iraqi parliament voted on it twice.

So the idea that the executive branch can negotiate these comprehensive agreements without the full participation of the Congress, I think, is a wrong idea.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's talk about economics, as well. In that speech we showed, you also talked about, quote, "Powerful financial interests spending billions to elect people who think the current drift toward a permanent aristocracy is OK."

So let's do that a little bit.

Who are those interests and how are they encouraging a permanent aristocracy?

WEBB: Well, I think if you see what has been happening to our country over the past 20 or 25 years or so, with the economic model, first, the model itself has broken apart. The traditional model has broken apart. The employment model that was based on full-time employment, manufacturing-based, taking care of your working people, fell apart a lot -- when the manufacturing sector itself was hurt so bad in the past 20 years.

But the other thing is what -- you're seeing the -- if you have capital, if you have assets, you're doing pretty well. The stock market has almost tripled since April of 2009.

If you don't -- and this is particularly true right now with the generation that is -- that is coming into full adulthood, they don't have that model anymore. They are doing part-time jobs, consultancy jobs, they've got student loans to pay off, they're wondering whether they're even ever going to be able to own...

STEPHANOPOULOS: How can you fix that?

WEBB: You've got to level the playing field in terms of how we take care of working people, full-time, good jobs. I think that the system is, in a way, becoming rigged against working people. They are getting these part-time jobs -- my oldest daughter is a good example of this. She works for Disabled American Veterans. She loves her job.

But she's brought on as a consultant. She has to pay her own self-employment tax. She doesn't have medical. She doesn't have retirement. And this is becoming a model for the generation that's coming along.

The other part of it is that people at the very top clearly have moved away from everyone else in our society in the benefits that they are receiving, largely through stock options and executive compensation that would never have existed 30 years ago when they were measuring corporate sal -- corporate compensation by the earnings of a corporation rather than the price of the stock.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I know you've been reluctant to speak about Hillary Clinton, but you've had some tough words about both Clintons in the past. You wrote -- you said once, "They were the most corrupt administration in modern memory." You also wrote that, "Bill and Hillary's misadventures in the White House showed they were convinced the law didn't apply to them."

Do you stand by those words?

WEBB: Well, I think we threw a lot of bombs during that period. And I think what we need to do is look forward now. I think the American people want to hear from all the candidates about the issues that are going to concern us in the future. And the one thing that I think I can bring to the table is the one thing that has inspired me to at least take this journey is that I have a long history of leadership. I was raised to be a leader in the military, four years as a committee counsel in the Congress, five years in the Pentagon, not just one term, six years in the Senate. And when people have come to me as I have been on this exploratory committee, one thing I'm seeing over and over and over again is we trust you. We don't agree with you all the time, but we trust you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It sounds like...

WEBB: And that's some...

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- you're ready to do this.

WEBB: I -- I'm really enjoying getting out and listening to people. We're going to South Carolina this week. We're going to be in Iowa in April. We're going to be in New Hampshire in May. And we'll see how it goes.

If we can get the support, we'll continue to move forward.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We will be watching.

Senator Webb, thanks very much for coming in.

WEBB: Thank you.

Thanks for having me.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Coming up here, in the wake of that racist video from an Oklahoma frat, what should happen next?

Can fraternities clean up their act and their image?

Our experts weigh in.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Back now with the fallout over that video that went viral this week showing frat members at the University of Oklahoma singing a racist song.

The university has cracked down hard. The frat has hired a famous lawyer to fight back. And the controversy is sparking a new conversation about frat culture on campus.

ABC's Ryan Owens starts us off.


RYAN OWENS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The video is just nine seconds long. Its consequences could last a lifetime.


OWENS: At least for these two fraternity brothers, Parker Rice and Levi Petit. This morning, they've both been expelled and either they or their parents have written public apologies.

But what happened on that bus last weekend affects more than those two. It sparked protests...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not on our campus!

OWENS: -- and led to the entire Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity being kicked off campus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How could this be my house?

OWENS: Meet one of only two black SAE members in the history of the University of Oklahoma.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think that they were ever deserving of the letters because those letters mean something.

OWENS: But the local chapter doesn't think it deserved to be evicted either. They hired prominent defense attorney, Stephen Jones, who knows a thing or two about taking on unpopular clients. He defended Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

STEPHEN JONES, ATTORNEY: Every 19-year-old male is entitled to five minutes of foolishness. I think there was a promote rush to judgment.

OWENS: And it's not just about SAE and racism. Sixty deaths linked to frats over the past decade, accusations of sexual assaults and the hazing horror stories dating almost two centuries.

Earlier this year, Dartmouth College tried to crack down on dangerous debauchery by banning hard alcohol and putting an end to pledging. It's a problem they've tried to fix before.

(on camera): Specially trained teams of student counselors visit dormitories and fraternity houses each week to talk about the use and abuse of alcohol.

(voice-over): For years, these stories have overshadowed the good works like charity and community service. About three quarters of a million undergraduates are Greek. Seventeen U.S. presidents pledged in college.

But now that one nine second video seems to be overshadowing all of that yet again.

For THIS WEEK, I'm Ryan Owens, ABC News, Norman, Oklahoma.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Here now, Jamelle Bouie. He covers politics and race for "Slate" magazine.

And Caitlan Flanagan, who wrote a cover story for "The Atlantic" called "The Dark Power of Fraternities."

Welcome to you both.

And Jamelle, let me begin with you. You had a lot to criticize here of what happened in Oklahoma. You say it's a lot more than one nine second video. But you say don't expel.

JAMELLE BOUIE, SLATE: Right. If you watch that video. And this is at least my impression, these kids don't really know what they're saying. It's a chant. It's provocative. They're violating this taboo. And so why not explain to them why we have that taboo.

Just two hours a way from the University of Oklahoma, is Tulsa where one of the worst anti-black race riots in American history happened.

The children and grandchildren of the people who were victims there are still -- they still live there, so they're still alive. Send those kids there, have them talk to people who lost their homes, who lost their livelihoods because of people saying things like that and people taking action on things like that.

I think that would be way more effective in terms of actually getting a change than expelling them, which has its own I think free speech problems.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, and Caitlyn, your studies on the dark power of frats, a yearlong investigation by you, shows that this kind of activity here is just one example of the kind of things that Frats have gotten into, which are really into the seedy unbelly of a lot of American campuses.

What big things did you learn about the frat culture and how the frats are fighting back?

CAITLYN FLANAGAN, WRITER: Well, you know, there are certainly positive aspects of fraternity membership. They certainly serve a role on campus. When things go well at fraternities, they tend to go very well. But when things go badly at fraternities, we're not looking at small problems. We're not looking at a messy house or a low GPA, we're looking at things like the inflicted trauma of hazing, we're looking at death by alcohol poisoning, we're looking at endemic racism and a huge problem with sexual assault.

So do these outfits, have they earned a place on the modern American campus? A lot of us are beginning to question that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So what's to be done about it?

FLANAGAN: Well, some fraternities are better than others. If you look at Phi Delta Theta, they took alcohol out of their houses 10 years ago. Everybody thought that that would be the end of the fraternity, no one would pledge. It's more popular than ever.

And on the other hand, if you look at SAE, there's just been 20 years of questionable management decisions.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And that's what I wanted to get to with you Jamelle, you talk about educating the kids at the University of Oklahoma, but we've seen these problems crop up at SAE chapters all across the country.

BOUIE: Right. It's -- part of me thinks that ti's kind of inherent -- not inherent, but it's encouraged by the frat's own mythology about itself, it celebrates the fact that it was founded in the Antebellum South, that it's -- most of its original members, some 360, fought for the Confederacy of the Civil War. It has a long southern lineage in a very particular kind of southern lineage to put it nicely.

And if you're holding that up as like an integral part of your frat culture, than I do think it invites if not these sorts of attitudes and the kinds of people who would hold them and then kind of enshrine them in the frat's culture.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You mentioned the other problems that have been raised here that we have been seeing in fraternities, does this incident spark real reform?

FLANAGAN: You know, we've had this conversation as long as -- you know, I'm 53 years old, I went to college a long time ago. We were talking about rape in fraternity houses when I was a girl in college. These problems assert themselves and reassert themselves and nothing ever really seems to change.

SAE, every year they have their leadership conference on a booze cruise to Cozumel. Now, if your biggest problem is endemic racism, rape, hazing and alcohol death, is a booze cruise to Cozumel the place you're going to solve it?

STEPHANOPOULOS: I think that question kind of answers itself.

OK, Caitlyn Flanagan, Jamelle Bouie, thank you both very much.

Now we're going to come back with our Sunday spotlight after this from our ABC stations.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And in this week's Sunday spotlight, the man they call the Jon Stewart of the Middle East. Dr. Bassem Youssef drew millions of fans and took brave risks as host of Egypt's version of the Daily Show determined to show that laughter and satire is some of the best weapons against tyranny and terror. ABC's David Wright brings us his story.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And your chariot awaits.

DAVID WRIGHT, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: In Midtown Manhattan, it's easy to miss one of the biggest TV stars in the world. But as we arrive in Astoria, Queens.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So this is little Cairo.

WRIGHT: Literally five seconds out the door and he's swamped by fans eager for a selfie.

Bassem Youssef, his show Alberna Meg (ph), was the Egyptian version of The Daily Show. Groundbreaking stuff in a country where the religious and military leaders don't like being laughed at, which is why he's now off the air.

Was there a particular joke that fell flat?

BASSEM YOUSSEF, TV SHOW HOST: As a matter of fact, the whole show is hilarious. People were laughing their ass off. And I think because we were too funny I think we were banned.

WRIGHT: Which is also why we sat down with him not in Cairo, but at Mumbar Restaurant (ph) in Queens.

Can you go back to Egypt if you want?

YOUSSEF: I can go back to Egypt any time I want. Can I leave Egypt any time I want? I think I can.

WRIGHT: Youssef had the most unlikely of starts in show business. He caught his rising star during the Arab Spring, those thousands of protesters in Tahrir Square.

YOUSSEF: It was just like a regular, every day life heart surgeon.

WRIGHT: With dreams of comedy.

YOUSSEF: Suddenly I have a revolution, and then we were in the streets. And I was doing my part caring to the wounded people in Tahrir Square.

WRIGHT: His new career started on YouTube. In two months, five million views.

JON STEWART, HOST, THE DAILY SHOW: Please welcome Bassem Youssef.

WRIGHT: He even found his way to The Daily Show in New York.

STEWART: I think you look better in a suit, but other than that I think we're the same.

YOUSSEF: It's an Armani.

STEWART: Look at you.


STEWART: You are carving out the space for people to breathe and express themselves in a way that I think is incredibly admirable.

YOUSSEF: This guy is not just an idol, he is a brother.

WRIGHT: Youssef is now regrouping, making a documentary, and doing a fellowship at Harvard. He's also gathering new material.

Would you go so far as to say that religious extremism in all forms is fair game for satire?

YOUSSEF: Yes, of course.

Satire can be like an equal opportunity offender for everybody.

WRIGHT: When you look at ISIS, is there room for humor there?

YOUSSEF: Yeah, of course. Look at the YouTube in the Middle East, people are making fun of ISIS left, right and center.

WRIGHT: Clearly, Bassem Youssef will have a second act.

Is the Arab Spring over?

YOUSSEF: Let's say, for example, it's going to be a very windy spring.

WRIGHT: Looks like he'll weather it just fine.

For This Week, David Wright, ABC News, Queens.


STEPHANOPOULOS: We'll be watching him as well.

And now we honor our fellow Americans who serve and sacrifice. The seven Marines killed in Tuesday's tragic Blackhawk crash in Florida. The names of four victims from the National Guard have not yet been released.

And once again, there were no reports this week of service members killed in Afghanistan.

That is all for us today. Thanks for part of your Sunday with us. Check out World News Tonight. And I'll see you tomorrow on GMA.

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