The Roundtable on the 2016 Race

Gwen Ifill, Rich Lowry, Jamelle Bouie and Greta van Susteren, discuss developments in the 2016 presidential race
8:54 | 05/10/15

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Transcript for The Roundtable on the 2016 Race
and misperceptions of others. Was I too loud or too angry or too emasculating. Or was I too soft, too much of a mom, not enough of a career woman. We'll take that up with the roundtable in just a moment, but let me start with you, Gwen, and let's talk about Hillary Clinton staking out her position on immigration this week to the left, saying she would go even further with executive action than president Obama has. If you look at what the Clintons have been doing, she has been under fire not only because of e-mails and benghazi but because of the Clinton foundation. What they thought they were going to do this week was have Hillary and bill Clinton in Africa showing the good work of the Clinton global initiative. There is much good work and have Hillary in Washington or Nevada talking about substance. She talked last week about mass incarceration, about immigration, she's talked about gay marriage and gay rights. She's going to focus on the substance. They're going to focus on saying this is very unfair what's happened to us, we do good work. It didn't exactly work the way it was designed in part because bill Clinton can't help himself and he always takes it one step farther than is helpful to his wife's campaign but her substance part was all there for all to see. You see candidates giving policy speeches and you can decide if you agree or disagree. But Greta, she's challenging republicans who have a very tough balancing act here. Let's think back to Mitt Romney and the self-deportation comments. First, my husband's a very strong supporter of governor mab martin O'Malley who's not part of the race. We're all going to seize upon it and dissect it. I don't think it matters what anybody says right now. I don't think anyone at home is paying attention of who's running for president. We're interested in it. It's fascinating because we like to see how the sausage is made. What's going to matter more is how is the economy doing a year from now and it's going to matter whether they trust her or anybody else. I think that's what's going to matter. Right now it's fascinating and we dissect it and take every sound bite and throw it up against everybody else. We are on a Sunday morning talk show. It's kind of what we do here. It's fascinating. We dissect it. Frankly, in my hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin, they may be watching but they're also figuring out mother's day. Who's going to sit next to mother if mother is in a bad mood. Or if mother is great. That's what I think. It's fascinating. My mother is never in a bad mood. Who gets to sit next to mother. Hillary Clinton is staking -- is going to the left on immigration, but she's getting pushed from the left. You've got senator Elizabeth Warren and now New York City mayor bill De Blasio who co-authored an op-ed calling for increased minimum wage, paid family leave, investigating in education, called how to revive the American dream and mayor De Blasio is unveiling his version of a contract with America here in D.C. This week. What effect do you think this has on her? This gets back to something you were saying, Greta. Maybe that's obvious. Maybe we just pointed it out. I don't think this is for the voters at home. It's very much for activists, people within the democratic party and I think it's signaling. Warren and De Blasio pushing Clinton from the left, she will almost certainly adopt those positions both to signal potential competitors like governor O'Malley that listen, I have the left lane covered, there's no room for you. To activists, she's not only saying I'm on your side but by publicly making these statements and commitments, if she is president in 2017 they now have a hook. They have a way to say, you owe us something and you need to do something about it. Also at this point it really is an effort to look at raising money and you want to say the right thing so that the groups will contribute money to you because money, whether we like it or not, really matters. It's a brilliant success for the left because they don't really -- no offense to governor O'Malley or others. They don't really have a viable challenger to her but they still moved her in their direction. Just look on immigration, at the very least, everyone will agree that president Obama pushed to the very outer limits of his legal authority on immigration and here you have Hillary Clinton saying she will go further. Let's move on to bill Clinton's comments. They don't really seem to be hurting her, but no apologies, I got to pay our bills and I just work here. Bill has never gone away and he's back even stronger. Here's the thing we should always, always remember about the Clintons and we've been covering them for a long time and nobody is talking about it at mother's day but we are thinking about it. People have internalized the Clintons perceived short comings. They knew things about bill Clinton before he was elected and decided it was okay. They knew things about Hillary Clinton. So the poles, huge grain of salt. It's early and kind of silly even to be talking about them in terms of horse race but in terms of how these candidates are perceived and Hillary Clinton in particular, people have baked a lot of it into the cake. And the bill Clinton comment, what's particularly dangerous for her, it shows a tone deafness. When she said to Diane sawyer that the day they left the white house she was dead broke, literally probably true because they had been living in the white house and the governor's mansion before that and they didn't have many assets. It's like Lebron James the day before he signed a multi-million dollar contract, technically dead broke but not about to be. People back in Iowa who needs to understand her, she just wasn't dead broke and now you got bill saying he's got to pay the family's bills. Makes it sound as though if they're not giving $500,000 speeches the lights are going to be turned off. I want to quickly in the short amount of time we have to move onto the republican race. Three new candidates. You seem to think Mike Huckabee has a good chance. I don't think Mike Huckabee has a very good chance. I think he's a very interesting guy in part because he seems to represent this constituency in American politics that doesn't have a place in either party. We talked about viable third parties as being libertarians but there aren't that many people in the United States who are socially liberal and economically conservative. There are a lot of people in the country who endorse the welfare state. They like social security, medicare, help for their kids and elders and they're very traditional in their values. That's kind of Mike Huckabee's wheel house. It's unfortunate for him that that's not going to take him anywhere in terms of national politics but in terms of political analysis it's an interesting phenomenon. He won Iowa in '08 and got the evangelical vote. He's got santorum trying to get the evangelical vote and governor bush at liberty university beginning to make inroads. That evangelical vote is getting split up. I want to hit two quick things here. The attack in Texas this week and the question of free speech. You talked about Pam Geller who had this conference to paint cartoons of the prophet Mohammed. You said she's a bomb thrower but only metaphorical, not a literal one. That's the difference between her and her enemies and between civilization and barberism. We live in a country where literally nothing is sacred. If we're going to accept in effect an assassin's veto we're going to say nothing is off limits except for depictions of Mohammed. That is perverse. The purpose is to say we are not going to accept violent extremists setting the parameters of speech in this country. Here's the problem. There's no one I know who denies that she had a first amendment right and all of them do. They had a first amendment right to do that, but with every right comes some sort of judgment. You have a first amendment right. The nazis did to March when 20% of the population was holocaust victims in 1977 or actually part of it. And they have a first amendment right. Sometimes you use good judgment. What she was doing was mocking an entire religion of muslims. Amir heckmaddie, who is in Iran's prison, he's Muslim. He served for the rest of us. There are 15,000 to 20,000 muslims in the military. We have to use good judgment about how we exercise that right. Absolutely she had a first amendment right to do that. 100% behind her. I've been in court representing people with the first amendment with things I don't agree with because I believe in that right, but I believe sometimes you need to use better judgment. Okay about those disagreements on the Sunday show. Thanks to everyone.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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