'This Week' Transcript: Sen. Ted Cruz

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is interviewed on 'This Week'

— -- This is a rough transcript for "This Week" on February 8, 2015. It may contain errors and will be updated.

Is he closer to jumping in?

And Clinton countdown -- is her campaign ready to launch?



Was this the week that turned the tide in the fight against ISIS?

That's our big question this morning.

With the Arab world rising up in revulsion and resolve after that barbaric execution of the Jordanian pilot.


General Allen says the coalition against ISIS is strengthening every day. The horrific murder of the young pilot has backfired on the terrorist group.


RADDATZ (voice-over): With shocking atrocities in the headlines this week, ISIS has redefined barbarity, after the slaying of the Jordanian pilot. And now the group claims 26-year-old American aid worker Kayla Mueller, the last known American hostage, was killed in a retaliatory airstrike by the Jordanians.

(on camera): Would you call this a tipping point?

GEN. JOHN ALLEN (RET.), SPECIAL ENVOY: It's a very important moment for our Arab allies within the coalition, and I think more broadly within the coalition, it will be one of those moments that creates additional unity.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.

RADDATZ: The appalling events of this week underscore the urgency of the fight.

On Tuesday, ISIS released video showing Jordanian pilot, Moaz al-Kasasbeh, burned alive while trapped in a cage, triggering outrage around the world.


RADDATZ (on camera): Do you believe the murder of Lieutenant Kasasbeh backfired on ISIS?

ALLEN: Absolutely it did.

Then, on Thursday, a wave of crushing Jordanian airstrikes. A video released to drive home the point...


RADDATZ: -- the missiles with inscriptions calling ISIS the enemy of Islam.

ALLEN: His Majesty, the King, King Abdullah, has indicated a desire to do more.

RADDATZ (on camera): What effect has this had on the rest of the coalition?

ALLEN: Well, I think it's galvanized the -- the coalition, unified the coalition.

RADDATZ: The importance of coalitionism is a lesson General Allen knows well. In Iraq, he helped unite Sunni tribes in the fight against al Qaeda and forged relationships with Middle Eastern leaders involved in the fight against ISIS now.

ALLEN: The Arab states within this coalition are really providing important leadership in this regard.

RADDATZ (voice-over): Until now, Allen has faced difficulties in forming a true coalition. The U.S. has been responsible for more than 80 percent of all strikes against ISIS.

(on camera): You told George Stephanopoulos last August that what was needed was a hard blow against ISIL and that you needed a comprehensive plan.

Have both those been accomplished?

RADDATZ: I believe they have, actually. And Kobani is a good example of where that blow really fell heavily on ISIL.

RADDATZ (voice-over): Kobani, a former ISIS stronghold in Syria, now deserted after Kurdish forces pushed ISIS fighters out, as ABC's Alex Marquardt saw this week.

ALEX MARQUARDT, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: The businesses, piles of debris.

RADDATZ: But much of the rest of the country is a battleground.

ALLEN: Well, it's a very important concern, obviously, to us. We don't have a partner in Syria, as we do in Iraq.

RADDATZ: When you look at Iraq, still a third -- about a third that ISIL controls?

ALLEN: Well, the -- it -- they control population centers. That's what's relevant.

ALLEN: It's very hard at several levels to -- to prepare the Iraqi security forces to do this.

RADDATZ (voice-over): Coalition forces are going up against what General Allen believes is a more formidable enemy than even al Qaeda.

ALLEN: ISIL is a threat at an entirely different level than al Qaeda was.

RADDATZ (on camera): Are they harder to find now?

They have adapted.

ALLEN: Well, they have. And we expected that would be the case. You -- you don't see the long convoys now with flags flying in broad daylight. But we have also adapted our targeting process, as well.

RADDATZ (voice-over): But still, the shadow of ISIS could be far-reaching.

(on camera): Do you believe ISIS poses a threat to the homeland?

ALLEN: I think we should take it very seriously.

RADDATZ (voice-over): A stark reminder of that danger, aid worker Kayla Mueller's parents hold out hope she is still alive and General Allen told me, the U.S. is still looking into what happened. But meanwhile, the airstrikes continue unabated.


RADDATZ: General Allen does acknowledge this is a generational fight. Despite setbacks, this is an enemy that is not going away -- George.


We are joined now by the former minister of Jordan, Nasser Judeh.

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

Do you have any solid information right now about the American hostage, Kayla Mueller?

NASSER JUDEH, FOREIGN MINISTER OF JORDAN: No, no solid information. I mean we are hearing what you are hearing. And, of course, our prayers are for Kayla Mueller to be safe and sound and alive.

But we don't have information. I am sure that your services have the information required.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We just heard General Allen say that the atrocity against your pilot by ISIS this week has really galvanized the Arab world, galvanized the coalition in the fight against ISIS. We've seen Jordan step up the fight.

Do you believe right now that ISIS is on the run?

JUDEH: They are on the run. They're not gone yet, but certainly -- I mean the sustained air campaign of the last few months has degraded their capabilities on the ground. We know that. They still control vast territory. They still have access to serious cash and funds. And they have access to sophisticated weaponry.

So they are not gone as a threat yet.

There's no doubt we shall prevail, but it's not going to be easy and it's not going to be quick.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Mr. Minister, thank you very much for your time this morning.

JUDEH: Thank you very much, my friend.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The fight against ISIS high on the agenda this weekend at a conference of world leaders in Munich, rivaled by the escalating fight between Russia and Ukraine.

The Obama administration saying this week that it may be ready to arm Ukraine's military, a move strongly opposed by European leaders, like Germany's Angela Merkel.

But Vice President Biden, at this conference, underscores the administration's support for Ukraine.


JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: How many times President Putin has promised peace and delivered tanks, troops and weapons?

So we will continue to provide Ukraine with security assistance, not to encourage war, but to allow Ukraine to defend itself.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Also attending that conference, Republican Senator Ted Cruz.

He joins us now from Munich.

Senator Cruz, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

We've heard of this division between the Europeans and perhaps the United States over this issue of arming the Ukraine military.

Where do you stand on that?

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Well, George, good morning.

It's great to be with you.

You know, I'll tell you, this conference in Munich the last three days has really highlighted the enormous national security threats that are facing America, that are growing and getting worse.

And when it comes to Russia and Ukraine, the path we're on doesn't make any sense. We need to be providing defensive arms to the people of Ukraine.

I met yesterday, alongside a bipartisan congressional delegation, with Ukrainian President Poroshenko. And he made clear that the Ukrainians are fighting to defend their nation. They want to defend their nation.

We have a treaty obligation to stand with them. And right now, unfortunately, the Obama administration is not honoring that obligation.

We need to come together and provide defensive arms so that they can stand up against this Russian aggression.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I know you've also discussed the battle against ISIS this weekend in Munich. And I know you said in the past that the answer is to bomb ISIS back to the Stone Age.

Most experts say that will not be enough, that you will need ground forces as well.

Would you call up American forces if others don't step up?

CRUZ: You know, I don't believe, right now, we need American boots on the ground, and the reason is we have boots on the ground already with the Kurds. The Peshmerga are trained, effective fighters. They are close allies of us.

Just today, I met with the president of Kurdistan. And he made clear that the Peshmerga are ready to fight. They are fighting ISIS.

But I'll tell you, George, it makes no sense. Our government is not providing military weapons effectively to the Kurds. Instead, they're shuttling it all to Baghdad, and Baghdad is very slow in getting it to the Kurds.

We need to arm the Kurds and we need to use the Peshmerga as boots on the ground. They're effective. They're ready. They're our close allies.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But if that's not enough, would you be willing to send American ground troops into that battle?

CRUZ: Look, we need to accomplish the mission and the mission should be defeating ISIS before they succeed in carrying out more horrific acts of terror, before they succeed in murdering Americans. If need be, we should go that step.

But it should be driven by the mission. And the first step should be to effectively arm the Peshmerga, use them as boots on the ground, and to use serious, overwhelming airpower.

The problem is, right now, the Obama-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy has been consistently wrong. It's been wrong on ISIS. It's been wrong on Russia. It's been wrong on Iran.

And when it comes to ISIS, our policy of leading from behind, we've seen essentially photo-op foreign policy, where we drop a bomb here or a missile there.

We need a focused, direct military objective of taking out and destroying ISIS.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ISIS and al Qaeda also posing a threat to our homeland. As you know, the Department of Homeland Security about to run out of funding by the end of this month. And Speaker Boehner has called you on your strategy to block that funding, in the effort to block the president's executive orders on immigration.

Do you have a strategy to implement your plan? It's going to take Democratic votes. Do you have a strategy to get those votes? And if not, what are you going to do to make sure that Homeland Security funding is put in place?

CRUZ: Well, George, I don't agree with the premise of your question. This was not my plan. This was leadership's plan. This was the cromnibus, which you'll recall in December, I fought vigorously against it. I said, this plan doesn't make sense. It gives away all our leverage, and it's a plan that is designed to fail. So, I would ask leadership, this is their plan they designed. Let's see what their next step is.

But I'll say two additional things. This past week, we saw Senate Democrats three times filibuster funding for the Department of Homeland Security.

And Republicans, what we need to do is we need to honor the commitment we made to the voters, and that means we need to fund DHS and we also need to act effectively to stop President Obama's illegal and unconstitutional executive amnesty.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me ask you a question about the economy. We saw these new unemployment numbers this week showing the economy has created more than a million jobs in the last three months, the best record in 17 years, a solid forecast for 2015 as well.

What does that do to your party's strategy going forward in 2016?

Here's what Kevin Hassett, an economic adviser to John McCain and Mitt Romney, told "The Washington Post" -- he said, "When Hillary Clinton runs, she's going to say, 'The Republicans gave us a crappy economy twice, and we fixed it twice. Why would you ever trust them again?'"

What's the answer?

CRUZ: Well, look, if Hillary Clinton wants to run by telling Americans that the economy is doing great and you can credit President Obama and Hillary Clinton for that, I would encourage her to follow that strategy. Because the simple reality is, that's true for the wealthy.

The top 1 percent under President Obama, the millionaires and billionaires that he constantly demagogued, earned a higher share for our income than any year since 1928. Those with power and influence who walk the corridors of power of the Obama administration have gotten fat and happy under big government.

But I'll tell you, hardworking men and women across America are hurting. We today have the lowest labor force participation since 1978. Ninety-two million Americans aren't working, and we've seen wages stagnate.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It sounds like you got your economy stump speech down.

You've also been making the case to donors and activists that the GOP can't go with the establishment candidate this time around. You say Republicans lose when they run to the mushy middle, you said.

Now, I know you like and respect Jeb Bush. But you've also suggested that he's part of that mushy middle. What puts him there?

CRUZ: Look, Jeb Bush is a good man. He's a good governor. I respect him. If he chooses to run -- it certainly looks like he's going to -- he's going to have to make the case to Republican primary voters, concerning his record, concerning certainly his support for Common Core, concerning his policies on immigration, and I think we'll have a debate on that.

But at the end of the day, I think Republicans are looking for a leader.

And I'll tell you, George, what I would urge every Republican thinking about running to do -- and this is true of senators of governors -- stand up and lead.

I'd be thrilled if six months from now, we have a half dozen Republicans standing and leading and making the case. There is a better way. We can get back to the free market principles and constitutional liberties that built this country and made this country a shining city on a hill.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Sounds like a vigorous debate is coming. Senator Cruz, I know you have to catch a plane. Thanks very much.

CRUZ: Thank you, George. God bless you.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And coming up, Ted Cruz, just one of the GOP contenders stepping up the action this week. The roundtable is going to weigh in on all the jockeying and Hillary's new moves, plus the latest on the Brian Williams controversy. Our journalism experts weigh in on what it says about our media culture.

We're back in just two minutes.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, in this week's closer look, the controversy surrounding Brian Williams. The NBC anchor has apologized and taken himself off the air after veterans called him out for falsely claiming his helicopter was hit by a rocket during the Iraq war.

NBC has also launched an internal investigation. And the episode has sparked a vigorous debate on social media and in newsrooms where there's a risk for both colleagues and competitors now wrestling with the implications.

ABC's David Wright starts us off.


DAVID WRIGHT, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: "It has become painfully apparent to me that I am too much a part of the news due to my actions," so said a personal note from Brian Williams posted on the NBC news website. The anchor deciding to take himself off the broadcast for the next several days.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: I made a mistake in recalling the events of the 12 years ago.

WRIGHT: That decision after an extraordinary mea culpa this past week.

WILLIAMS: I want to apologize. I said I was traveling in an aircraft that was hit by RPG fire. I was instead in a following aircraft.

WRIGHT: Apologizing for a segment broadcast on NBC nightly news the previous week.

WILLIAMS: The story actually started with a terrible moment a dozen years back during the invasion of Iraq when the helicopter we were traveling in was forced down after being hit by an RPG.

WRIGHT: In that story, Williams paid tribute to a soldier who he said saved his life after a close call during the invasion of Iraq. NBC posted the story to Facebook and soldiers on the helicopter struck by a rocket propelled grenade called Williams out.

"Sorry, dude, I don't remember you being on my aircraft," flight engineer Lance Reynolds wrote. I do remember you walking up about an hour after we landed to ask what had happened.

Door Gunner Mike O'Keefe called Williams a liar. Williams then admitted he must have misremembered.

The incident has exposed him to ridicule. On Twitter, people are posting parodies. Brian Williams at the moon landing. Brian Williams at Gettysburg. Brian Williams with the Ten Commandants #BrianWilliamsMisremembers.

Now, Williams reporting anecdotes from Hurricane Katrina have come under scrutiny too.

So NBC News has launched an internal investigation. The news division president telling the staff we are working on what the best next steps are.

But in his own statement, Williams made it clear he plans to come back.

For This Week, David Wright, ABC News, New York.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Start now with us now with our media expert Liz Spayd, editor and publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review; and David Folkenflik the media correspondent and critic at NPR.

And Liz, let me begin with you. We've now seen Brian Williams said -- put himself on the bench for a few days, he says. NBC investigating. Are those the right moves? And what needs to happen now?

LIZ SPAYD, COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW: I think it's the right move, but I think it's a few days late. I would have said that the network and Brian Williams should have made a decision that they would have done this earlier when this first erupted.

I think the right move next actually is for the network to have this investigation that they've started be done outside. I don't think that there's going to be enough credibility that gets attached to that kind of an investigation when the people doing it know that have personal connections, personal relationships with Brian Williams. They work for a network who had -- that has a lot at stake.

That would be my recommendation.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And some reports this morning that maybe NBC had known about this in -- in the past.

And that is what David Folkenflik with CBS did when Dan Rather got into those question -- had those questions about the reporting on George W. Bush's draft record. They brought in an outside panel to investigate.

FOLKENFLIK: Well, and let's be clear, they did that after Dan Rather had used his evening newscast, I think quite disingenuous to -- to protect and defend his now completely discredited report. I think that actually is ultimately what cost Rather his job, was the way in which he handled it. We learned it time and time again, it's not that journalists should -- are -- shouldn't be thought of as authoritative. But when they fall short -- and they often do -- it's how they deal with it that -- that really, I think, they're judged in the public realm.

STEPHANOPOULOS: (INAUDIBLE) journalists use for power (INAUDIBLE)...

FOLKENFLIK: Absolutely.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Elizabeth, does it make any difference, though, that for most of these exaggerations, tall tales, lies, whatever you want to...


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- call them, were -- were on shows that were not his -- his own show. Weren't the reporting was him talking about his reporting.

SPAYD: Yes. I don't -- I don't know that that matters to the public. I think that this whole incident is part of the cult of personality, in a way, that has taken over the media, not just broadcast, but now, you know, you could have a -- you could have a blogger or a star reporter whose name is almost as important to the public as the media brand that they work for.

And so he is a personification of that to the public. Here -- his public integrity is on display in whichever venue I think that he is in.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So what are the next best steps?

FOLKENFLIK: Well, right now, I think that you've seen this thing that -- they called it a review inside NBC News. And I think it's interesting, you talk about it as an investigation. I'm not sure internally at NBC, they have gotten to that point emotionally or mentally. There's been no promise of disclosure publicly of what the findings are.


FOLKENFLIK: There's been a promise of telling his staff and presumably the public what the next steps will be, and that really -- what they're really signaling is whether or not Brian Williams comes back behind the anchor's desk.

But I think they need to keep faith with the public. I do think they need to be very transparent. If Brian Williams wants to on and rebuild his career after this blow to his credibility -- he's been there more than two decades -- perhaps he deserves the chance -- he needs to make good. And the network needs to make good on what happened, what went wrong and what they're going to do going forward.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, Dave Folkenflik, Liz Spayd, thanks very much.

SPAYD: Thank you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Up next, Jon Karl takes a deep dive in Hillary 2.0.

Has she learned the lessons from her loss and later, Rick and Karen Santorum join us live to talk about the inspiring story of their little girl, Bella.

We're back in two minutes.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not a single Democrat wants to pursue the nomination on the off chance Hillary may throw her hat in the ring.

What's so scary about this woman's hat?


STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, whatever is in that hat is lurking. Democrats uniting earlier than ever behind their presumptive nominee. And Hillary Clinton's new steps this week to shore up her campaign in waiting.

But she was the big favorite last time, too.

So what lessons has Hillary Clinton learned?

How will this one be different?

Our Jon Karl analyzes these crucial questions.



Thank you, Florida Democrats.

JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The last time she ran, Hillary Clinton was such a big frontrunner, she told George it would be over by Super Tuesday.

H. CLINTON: I'm in it for the long run. It's not a very long run. It will be by February 5th.

KARL: It wasn't over until June and not the way she expected.

H. CLINTON: Well, this isn't exactly the party I planned, but I sure like the company.

KARL: This time around, she's an even bigger frontrunner. But Hillary Clinton is gearing up for a different kind of campaign.

H. CLINTON: I'm back.

KARL: Hillary 1.0 put the emphasis on experience.

H. CLINTON: Ready to lead on day one.

Who is ready to be president?

On day one.

KARL: Portraying herself as the only one to trust at a time of crisis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's 3:00 a.m., time for a president who's ready.

KARL: In 2016, a more humble Hillary Clinton.

H. CLINTON: I really didn't have a good strategy for my campaign, I didn't plan it the right way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you mean?

H. CLINTON: I don't think I ever said, yes, you -- you may have known me as a first lady for eight years, but I don't take anything for granted. I have to earn your support.

KARL: Last time around, she downplayed gender, waiting until the end to emphasize she would have made history.

H. CLINTON: Although we weren't able to shatter that highest hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it got about 18 million cracks in it.

KARL: This time, her confidantes say gender will be central to her campaign. In fact, it already is.

H. CLINTON: Strong women and strong families can grow economies.

I've got that grandmother glow that doesn't quit.

KARL: Then there's Bill. The former president was sometimes a campaign liability -- stealing the spotlight and going off message when talking about Obama.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen.

KARL: But as 2016 approaches, we're seeing a more disciplined Bill Clinton.

B. CLINTON: I will not be baited.

KARL: After all the lessons of 2008, relatability may be the most crucial for Clinton. Any 2016 candidate will have to court the middle class. She took a step backwards when she said she was dead broke after leaving the White House.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That you have (INAUDIBLE) how you faced that?

H. CLINTON: Well, let me just clarify that I fully appreciate how hard life is for so many Americans today.

KARL: And finally, there's the campaign itself. No longer dominated by old Clinton loyalists, Mrs. Clinton has already recruited some of the key players who helped Obama beat her last time -- a sign she wants a campaign more like Obama's, you know, one that wins.

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


STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you, Jon Karl, for that.

We're joined now by our political team from Bloomberg, John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, hosts of "With All Due Respect"; Republican strategist Kristen Soltis Anderson; and Van Jones from CNN.

Welcome to you all.

And Mark Halperin, let me begin with you.

You saw Jon, at the end of the piece, talk about the new team that Hillary Clinton has put together. She's got Barack Obama's pollster, his media adviser, communications director, brand new campaign hierarchy.

But Dan Balz, the dean of political reporters at "The Washington Post," I think, asked the right question. He says she has a different campaign, will she be different, too?

MARK HALPERIN, CO-HOST, "WITH ALL DUE RESPECT": It's all about her. Look, the staff moves are incredibly important. These are people who know the way to win. They have all won presidential campaigns. And they were -- a lot of people won't be afraid to stand up to her or to her husband.


HALPERIN: John Podesta. But also that, you know, President Obama's pollster, Joel Benenson, his ad maker. These are people who know the mechanics of modern presidential campaigns.

She's got the right structure in place.

I think Dan Balz said, and as we all know, the candidate matters most. And she has to introduce herself to the public. There's an advantage to not having a contested fight while the Republicans have one of the most contested fights that we've ever seen.

But there's a disadvantage. She may end up squandering this year by announcing late and doing what she often does, over thinking every decision.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, and, John Heilemann, she's going to have to think about a lot of these decisions, will she even have to debate?

It doesn't look, right now, like there's another candidate on the horizon who she would feel compelled to have to engage.

JOHN HEILEMANN, CO-HOST, "WITH ALL DUE RESPECT": Well, I mean, look, she would obviously, in some ways, need to -- again, a double-edged sword, as Mark suggested. You -- you -- you kind of want to get through this as easily as possible.

On the other hand, you don't want to have your first debate be one of the -- in the general election, right?

And so you want to get tested in some way.

You know, I think it would be best for her if some of these guys -- Martin O'Malley, Jim Webb, somebody decides to run just so she has to at least get out there on the debate stage a couple of times. She won't be able to say no to debates if there's anybody, right. She can't hide from a debate.

But the ideal sort of stance for her, enough to test her but not so much that she gets damaged and that could be where she -- how things play out.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Kristen, we also saw Jon Karl hit on that point about gender. Last time around the campaign was all around strength. Hillary Clinton showing strength, strength, strength. They downplayed gender. This time around, we're hearing about grandmother-in-chief all the time already.

SOLTIS ANDERSON: Exactly, but I think that a lot of women are going to vote with their minds not with their gender. And I think that she's going to try to prove that she can be a likable candidate. Remember, we had that moment in the last debate where Obama said you were likable enough, Hillary.

If you take a look at your favorables, though, going back over the last two decades, the more she's engaged in the political fight, the more she's engaged out on the campaign or a book tour, the lower her favorables get. And figuring out how to make her likable is going to be one of the biggest challenges, I think this campaign.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Van, the other big question, what happens if something happens to Hillary? The Democrat field is pretty weak.

JONES: Well, we've talked about gender. We've talked about a couple of the names. Elizabeth Warren, that's the name that is actually on the lips of every grass roots Democrat...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But she is not running for...


STEPHANOPOULOS: ...adviser Mandy Grunwald just went to Hillary Clinton this week.

JONES: And you have at the grass roots where people actually matter -- in other words, where people actually vote, hundreds of parties this weekend Ready for Hillary. You've got MoveOn.org, the biggest force on the left going -- I'm sorry, Ready for Warren, Ready for Elizabeth Warren. Hundreds of grass roots parties, Democracy for America.

There's thunder on the left.

I think what Hillary Clinton has got to deal with now, she's in a different world when it comes to economics. Post-Occupy Wall Street, income inequality, is a completely big issue. Mitt Romney is talking about it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Ted Cruz is talking about it.

JONES: She's got to get her head wrapped around. There is a Democratic Party out there very comfortable talking about Middle Class, very comfortable talking about tax the rich. How does she relate to that? That's going to be...


STEPHANOPOULOS: ...spent the last month meeting with new economic advisers.

JONES: I think she is -- Elizabeth Warren is the only Democrat out there capable of capturing lightning in a bottle. I think there will be...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Challenge her.

JONES: If she wanted to.

I think what you see Elizabeth Warren doing right now is putting herself in a position where if, as you suggested George, something happens, she would be in a position to get in this race. I don't think she will -- as long as Hillary Clinton is going along on the trajectory where she looks strong, Elizabeth Warren is not going to get in this race.

But if she stumbles, if there's a scandal, if there's a health issue, she's got herself in a position where she could step in and say I'm the one.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Joe Biden wants to be out there to.

HALPERIN: Going to Iowa next week.

Look, I think it's a little bit of a fallacy to say the Democrats have no bench. They have Joe Biden, they have John Kerry, they have Jerry Brown, they have Martin O'Malley, they've got people who could step in if she falters.

But right now, she is so far and away the most likely next president of the United States.

If she performs...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Next president of the United States?

HALPERIN: If she -- most likely. If she performs the electoral college and demographic advantages of the Democratic nominee, whoever it is, are pretty substantial. If she performs, if she shows authenticity, more than anything else. If she shows people who she really is and has a second chance to introduce herself, I think it would be very hard to beat her if she performs.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Kristen, I need a Republican rebuttal of the most likely next president of the United States.

SOLTIS ANDERSON: I couldn't disagree more. I think this time around Republicans are putting the full A-team on the field. The field on the GOP side is just full of talented governors, senators and folks from other sectors. I mean, I am looking forward to...

HALPERIN: ...220, 240 electoral votes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's an excellent point. We're going to talk more about the Republicans in just a minute.

I want to take a look at the whole GOP field. And our Bloomberg team has a brand new poll out of New Hampshire.

Now let's see how they all do with our powerhouse puzzler. It's inspired by Rosa Parks. You might have seen that the Library of Congress did a remarkable collection of hers this week. We're going to have more on that later.

Here's the question, back in 1965, Parks went to work for a member of congress who still serves today. Who is that member of congress. We're back in two minutes with the answer.


STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, let's see how everyone did with the puzzler.

Which current member of congress hired Rosa Parks back in 1965? Let's see, the whiteboards please.

Mark Halperin, you win the prize this week. John Conyers -- Conyers. John Conyers right there.

HALPERIN: I met him on a plane a few weeks ago, so he was top of mind.

STEPHANOPOULOS: She actually worked him for over two decades -- receptionist, community outreach liaison. And he told us that Rosa Parks' strength and humility remains unmatched until this day. We'll be right back.


STEPHANOPOULOS: This week's politics buzzword, innoculation consternation. Rand Paul raised a ruckus by talking about...


SEN. RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY: ...walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And that CNBC interview got a little testy.


PAUL: Hey, shhh. Calm down a bit here, Kelly.


STEPHANOPOULOS: But Paul was all smiles later when he got a booster shot.

Tough week for Chris Christie, too, forced to backtrack from saying parents need to have some measure of choice on vaccines.

And the New York Times said Kristie's London trip just one example of his, quote, fondness for luxury travel.

Both Kristie and Paul both took a hit on our Facebook sentimeter this week, losing ground from last week.

But it was a better week for Jeb Bush, making his first big policy speech and his first stabs of freshing up that family brand.


JEB BUSH, FORMER GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: I love my brother. And I think he's been a great president. But I know for a fact if I'm going to be successful, I have to do it on my own.



STEPHANOPOULOS: Back now with the roundtable. Let's talk about that right now.

Mark Halperin, you and John are bringing a new poll from Bloomberg as well a poll in New Hampshire. It says George Bush -- I mean, Jeb Bush, excuse me --


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- that mistake will be made so many times this cycle -- in the lead not only as the first choice, ahead of Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, but also when you add in the second choices, pops up more. Jeb Bush at 30, Rand Paul, 18, Walker at 18, Christie at 18.

So he starts out with a bit of an edge in New Hampshire. A long time away.

HALPERIN: Lots of great stuff in this poll beyond the horse race with Jeb Bush, ahead with Mitt Romney out of the race now in New Hampshire like Iowa in our poll last week, wide open. There are some negative things for Jeb Bush in this poll to be sure. His general election favorability in the swing state is low. But there are a lot of positives. I think he's undervalued now as a front-runner, even though with the grassroots he has trouble. You cited one thing.

Second choices, he jumps up to 30. In addition we compared Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush on a range of issues.

Who would be better to beat Hillary Clinton?

Who would do better on terrorism? Jeb Bush wins.

And last play I'll say, family connections, Republicans in New Hampshire say 59 percent say that's why he is where he is. Only 31 percent is because of his qualities.

In that speech in Detroit, he said, "When people get to know me, they'll not think of me as my brother or my father. They'll think of me as me."

I think his record as governor, as a conservative successful governor, when he brings that forward, I think his numbers are going to get even better.

HEILEMANN: But you could flip that around and see that as a huge challenge for him right now. That's a big challenge. Trying to overcome the notion that he's just a legacy candidate.

The other two things that we saw, we asked about deal killers. We asked people (INAUDIBLE) Republicans, what issues might be potential deal killers?

So we had, for Bush, 41 percent of Republicans said that immigration, his hits on immigration, was a deal killer for them. Another 20 percent said his stance on Common Core was a deal breaker.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And we just heard Ted Cruz earlier in the program point out those two issues to show that Jeb Bush is not a real conservative.

SOLTIS ANDERSON: I think there will be a really robust debate on the right but not just about those two issues, about economic issues, about the vision for what does the Republican Party stand for in the future? Jeb Bush this week said he wants to define himself as a reform conservative.

How do you take conservative, timeless principles and apply them to reforming institutions that Americans have been turning to?

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're right. That speech at the Detroit Economic Club (ph) he made that point.

But Van Jones, you talked about the debate on the Democratic side about inequality. I have been fascinated to see, whether it was Mitt Romney before he got out of the race, talking about poverty, saying he was going to talk about poverty; Jeb Bush addressing it in his speech, as well, at the Detroit Economic Club; Ted Cruz, his first answer on this morning's program was about wealth inequality. That is brand new on the Republican side.

JONES: Brand new on the Republican side and let's not forget Paul Ryan is now talking about poverty issues. We're dealing with a very different country. The middle class has really been decimated, not just under Obama but really over the past 30 years. And nobody has come forward to speak to that in a way that makes any sense.

The problem the Republicans have, they have an even longer walk than Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton has a walk. They have got a marathon to run to reposition themselves as not the party of the rich and wealthy.


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- they also now have an economy that seems to be gaining an awful lot of strength going into --


JONES: -- something about that. Just to set you up.

If we were looking at anything else with Obama, we would talk about it all day long. We just had the best report for the past three months now, the strongest job performance in about 10, 15 years --

STEPHANOPOULOS: Seventeen years.

JONES: -- 17 years under Obama. Silence from the media. But that's amazing.

Also, health care. Don't forget about health care. The costs are going down; the enrollment is going up. If it were reversed, we would be talking about it all day long. Obama is the biggest threat to --

HALPERIN: -- if the Supreme Court doesn't overturn ObamaCare and if Hillary Clinton can talk about what she likes about Obama economics and chart a different path, it will be really tough for Republicans. But they have to do it. They have to try to talk about how to deal with the economy going forward and these longer term trends.

The reason why, again, someone like a Jeb Bush is well positioned, he was the governor of Florida. He did things in Florida. He's not a first term senator. He's not a governor whose economic record is more mixed. There are flaws in him. But I think that speech that he gave at the Detroit Economic Club without specifics but just thematics, set down a marker.

STEPHANOPOULOS: He did lay the groundwork. He might have some trouble, though, John Heilemann, in Iowa, even though he has hired a campaign manager from Iowa.

New Hampshire hasn't always been kind to the Bushes. But really the question I want to ask though you is -- what winnows this field down? Ted Cruz said we're going to -- he hopes there would be half a dozen candidates.

Right now, there's more than a dozen potential candidates out there. What winnows this down before the votes about a year from now?

HEILEMANN: With -- at the exclusion of big controversy, someone like Chris Christie could get winnowed out of this field if he gets hit with a cascade of controversies. But in the absence of that, I'm not sure anything winnows it out.

I think you could head into Iowa with a very, very large field. You'll have some people raise a lot of money like Jeb Bush, maybe Scott Walker. He looked very good in our New Hampshire poll also.

But there's a lot of other candidates who can thrive on free media, who are going to go out there, who think they have nothing to lose by running. I think you could easily see a field of 12 that goes into Iowa. And no winnowing until people start losing races.

HALPERIN: What if Jeb Bush, between his campaign and super PAC raises over $100 million this year and no one else raises $25 million? That could --


SOLTIS ANDERSON: I still think it will be a very fluid race. And with so many people who are in the game, just think about last time around. Everybody had their moment in the sun. Everybody topped the polls at some --


SOLTIS ANDERSON: -- even Herman Cain -- but this time around, the field is so much stronger. I really think we'll see a lot of fluidity. In the end, it will come down to who is picking off the most delegates. Even if someone is coming in 4th or 5th place in a number of these states, are they racking up the numbers to where, if a convention comes around and it's a brokered convention, they can really have -- ?

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- worked for Barack Obama in 2008.

JONES: And Democrats should be very worries about this Republican primary. This is going to be the greatest show on Earth. They're beginning to look like the Rainbow Coalition. You may have a field where you have two Latinos, Cruz and Rubio. You could have an Asian -- Jindal. You could have a woman, Carly Fiorina. You could have a black guy, Herman Cain.


JONES: -- I'm sorry; Ben Carson.

You could have real superstars also in addition. And suddenly you have got a very riveting primary on their side. Nothing on our side. I think Democrats should be very worried about that.

HALPERIN: Hillary Clinton can overcome that, if it is a problem, by doing the groundwork in the battleground states, a lot of which are primary and caucus states, even if she's running relatively uncontested.

Mitt Romney lost in part because he was so occupied winning his nomination while the president's campaign was saying, how do we win the electoral votes of Florida, Ohio, other battleground states? That's where her advantage is but that involves the modern mechanics of campaigning --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And a lot of money.

HALPERIN: -- and a lot of money, which she can do. That's why I think she may be wasting 2015. She could be in Ohio today.

HEILEMANN: If she could get a message together, that's like the key thing right now for Hillary Clinton. She needs to find out a rationale for her candidacy because she has all the other advantages of incumbency. She will be able to build an incumbent's operation with a lot of money, a lot of targeting and a lot of technology and really nobody to contest her. But she still needs to have a rationale and a message that --

JONES: I'm glad that the grandmother in chief -- she's using gender now in a smart way. Grandmothers are tough. Grandmothers are strong. Grandmother in chief works also. I'm glad that she stepped up on this question around vaccines. The Republican Party should not become the pro-measles party. No party should do that.

SOLTIS ANDERSON: We're not the pro-measles party.

JONES: And they should be very clear that if anything -- if government should be able to do anything, it should be able to protect our children from disease.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to ask Kristen about that.

What happened this week? By the end of the week, I think, all the Republican candidates were in exactly the same place.

What is behind that instinct, though, to go the other way on a couple of these candidates?

SOLTIS ANDERSON: I think actually Governor Bush said it best. People love controversy. I'm just going to say, it's parents' responsibility to vaccinate their kids. People are forgetting there was a debate over vaccines in the 2012 presidential primary. It was over Gardasil, the vaccine for HPV.

Now that's not spread the same way that measles is spread. I think a lot of candidates had that top of mind when they were making these more nuanced statements about parental control.


STEPHANOPOULOS: That's an excellent point.

We have to take break right now.

Up next, Rick and Karen Santorum on Bella's gift.

And we have a new look at Rosa Parks in our "Sunday Spotlight."

Thanks to all of you.



RICK SANTORUM, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The doctors later told us that Bella -- that Bella was incompatible with life and to prepare to let go. They said even if she did survive, her disabilities would be so severe that Bella would not have a life worth living. We didn't let go.

STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): Rick Santorum at the GOP convention in 2012 celebrating his youngest daughter, Bella, born with a rare genetic condition called Trisomy 18, a condition that takes the life of most children born with it before their 1st birthday.

At his most raw and emotional, even Santorum confessed to losing hope.

SANTORUM: I decided that the best thing I could do was to treat her differently, to not love her like I did, because it wouldn't hurt as much if I lost her.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Bella beat the odds. She's 6 now. And in their new book, "Bella's Gift" Rick and Karen Santorum share the trials and joys of that journey, an intimate and inspiring look at a family's loving struggle and a strong little girl's remarkable survival.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And Rick and Karen Santorum join us now.

It's a remarkable book, a remarkable girl. Bella's three weeks from her 7th birthday?

RICK SANTORUM: Three months.

KAREN SANTORUM: Three months.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How is she doing?

KAREN SANTORUM: Thank you, George.

She's doing great. She's been just really healthy and stable, and just a real joy to our family.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What's kind of amazing about this book is how honest, how open, how emotional you both are.

Rick, we -- I guess, we met a few months back. And I was amazed to hear that you hadn't even read Karen's chapters, you were each writing a chapter one by one, you hadn't even read them until what just a couple of weeks ago.

RICK SANTORUM: Yeah, the reason was, I wanted to write -- because I thought the great thing about this book is that it gives two perspectives. It gives her perspective as a mom, as the fighter, as the person who was going to do everything And my perspective as sort of the dad who was trying to manage everything and, as you heard, I found myself trying to be a little detached and -- it was a...

STEPHANOPOULOS: That was an amazing moment in the campaign.

But you bring us inside your home as you write about that moment in the book. You actually say you were stunned and deeply hurt by that confession.

KAREN SANTORUM: I was because it -- it was -- it could be misinterpreted, as if Rick didn't love Bella, when, in fact, he did love Bella, but because we had lost a baby years before, he was so afraid of that hurt again and having to revisitthat.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And, you know, this also becomes I guess a portrait of a marriage. You're both grounded in faith and love. But you're strong-willed people with real emotions and real differences about how to deal with this.

RICK SANTORUM: I think moms and dads handle things differently. And you look at the high percentage of divorce among parents of disabled children and it's one of the reasons that motivated us to write this to give people a real inside look. Look, this isn't easy, but it's a great gift. These kids are a gift. And every life is worth it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And that is so important. Robin Roberts in her book about her struggle also is very open about the real emotions that bubbled up in her life. And it does, I think, it must help people to know that this is, you know, listen, we're real. This is not easy. We had our differences. But we got through it.

KAREN SANTORUM: You forgive and you get through, and you heal and you move on. And these parents -- this book was really written for parents of kids with disabilities. That's why it's so transparent. And -- and it just -- they inspire us. They're amazing.

And when you talk to each and every one of these parents, the message is that every person matters.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What did you learn about the health care system? Because I was kind of struck by your portrait of, it seemed at least from your telling, some fairly callous health care providers?


KAREN SANTORUM: There are so many wonderful doctors and nurses out there. But there are some, and I don't think it's intentional, I just think that maybe it's because they don't understand a trisomy 18 diagnosis. And that Bella's message -- we always said Bella is a little girl with a big message. And her message is don't look at her as a diagnosis, look at her and many other people like Bella, as a person. And don't write them off just because of that diagnosis, because, lethal language frequently can lead to lethal outcomes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, you also talk about how this affected your campaign and your entire family, which was a -- your campaign was a family affairlast time around.

You're open about the discussions you had. What is the kitchen table talk like now as you think about it again?

RICK SANTORUM: Well, I mean, with respect to Bella. I mean, Bella is doing so much better. I mean, she's on a great routine right now. And she's doing really, really well. So it's frankly not as big a concern for us this time around as last time.

But, you know, we have a lot of other factors to consider in making that decision. But with respect to Bella, we feel good enough to actually go out and tell the story and put a book out there with a lot of confidence.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And a lot of people are going to get a lot out of it. Rick and Karen, thank you very much.

We're going to be back with our Sunday Spotlight after this from our ABC stations.


STEPHANOPOULOS: In this week's and Sunday Spotlight, fascinating revelations about a familiar hero: Rosa Parks. We all know her act of defiance on that Alabama bus. And this week, we learned so much more about her rich character from a lifetime of writing photos and mementos released by the Library of Congress. ABC's Claire Shipman got a look.


CLAIRE SHIPMAN, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: This iconic image of the defiant seamstress, a seemingly accidental crusader. It's the Rosa Parks most of us know and it's a role she also embraced.

ROSA PARKS, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: The only thing I was doing was trying to get home from work.

SHIPMAN: We make so many assumptions about her based on that one snapshot.

ADRIENNE CANNON, HISTORIAN AND CURATOR, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS: And that is really the marvelous thing about this collection is that it allows us insight into the innermost Rosa.

SHIPMAN: That Rosa, it turns out, was full of fight very early on. Listen to these fiery thoughts from her as a 6-year-old child in her rural Alabama town.

CANNON: "I stayed awake, keeping vigil with grandpa. I wanted to see him kill a Klu Kluxer. He declared the first to invade our home would surely die."

SHIPMAN: The collections, curators and experts told us their biggest discovery was that Parks was an inveterate, passionate, excellent writer from letters to friends to lyrical musings about the inequities of African-America life.

CANNON: "Treading the tight rope of Jim Crow from birth to death. From almost our first knowledge of life to our last conscious thought there is always a line of some kind -- color line, hanging rope, tight rope.

SHIPMAN: That's beautiful.

CANNON: Isn't it beautiful?

SHIPMAN: And her devotion to her husband, Raymond, is all over the collection. She carried this picture of him in her wallet to sustain her when they were separated.

But we see a new side of their relationship, too. She writes about his worry for her safety.

MARGARET MCALEER, SENIOR ARCHIVAL, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS: So many times, he said, he would have gotten off the bus. He said, I had a goat head.

SHIPMAN: More like a will of steel and a drive to make change from her earliest days.

CANNON: You find that rebellious voice, that defiant spirit evoked in these writings. And that, to me, is the underlying power of this collection.

SHIPMAN: For This Week, Claire Shipman, ABC News, Washington.


STEPHANOPOULOS: I can't wait to bring my kids to see it.

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

And we have a big welcome to our newest viewer, Royal Frederick Fitz Kastens IV, there he is right there, born Tuesday our producer Katie Boslen Kastens (ph) and her husband, Royal. They're all doing well. Congratulations to all of them.

And 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.

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