'This Week': Powerhouse Roundtable

Donna Brazile, Matthew Dowd, Bill Kristol, Paul Krugman, and Ana Navarro discuss 2016 and the State of the Union.
3:00 | 02/02/14

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Transcript for 'This Week': Powerhouse Roundtable
just under a minute. His fifth state of the union had a strong central theme -- Let's make this a year of action. And what better way to start a year of action than with an hour of talking? President Obama promised to focus on economic growth, education and health care, or as people tuning in thought, oh, crap, it's a rerun. Proposals, with the republicans in the house, it's likely nothing will come of them. Proposals on the bachelor have a better chance of working out. Late night on the president's speech. And two of the newest members, bill kristol, and Ana Navarro, republican strategist with Matthew dowd and donna Brazile. And krooug krooug -- Paul Krugman of the New York times and princeton. We have to begin with the new developments over the weekend about Chris Christie. We have David wildstein, the port authority, suggesting that Chris Christie is not telling the truth, saying that evidence exists there. You say the new allegations which prompted a huge response from Chris Christie means he's less likely to be elected president than Amanda Knox will vacation in Italy? Isn't that overstating the case? No, of course not. There's no way I would overstate it. He's in a serious situation. This memo they put out -- they put out a memo trashing wildstein. They brought up the fact nobody liked him in high school. Any time you do that, to me, it sends a signal you are worried and concerned and there's more to this than that. Just like punxsutawney Phil saw there's going to be six months more winter, Chris Christie stood up at that super bowl thing yesterday, got booed, and he has a long winter ahead of him. And the question is that Chris Christie has information, he said evidence exists suggesting that. We'll see if it's true or not, that would be a huge blow. I have no knowledge what happened. But having talked to various republican establishment types, I'm reaching across the aisle. It would be nice to be -- Since when are you against republican establishment? I'm pro-tea party. But the last 48 hours, asking about the Christie situation, they have a two-word answer, Jeb bush. I'm serious. I'm really struck by how much Christie, who was the establishment favorite I think for the republican presidential nomination in 2016, they are beginning to, maybe foolishly, they are beginning to write him off. I think we will see a big drum beat of Jeb into the race. Meanwhile, Paul Krugman, the democrats are jump on this hard. I was surprised they put out an ad. It runs on its own, doesn't it? They are having fun. He scared them for 2016. Andhis is wonderful, actually. And this whole thing, wildstein, he is scum of the Earth, nobody should trust him, and I put him in an important policy post. Christie is in a no-win situation even without a smoking gun. It's a lot of going on. And now Chris Christie will deal with those who oppose him. He will do a document dump. The information out of his office, Ana told me it's official, to put out on this guy. To go back to high school, he was deceptive and unproductive. To appoint him to the high-level position. He was a Chris Christie guy. They are meeting in Washington, D.C. This week. I wonder how many governors will take pictures, Chris Christie versus Scott walker or other governors. Ink Chris Christie is in a lot of trouble. Unlike other politicians we did a dump on somebody that's talking bad about him. Look, put this in context. The only new evidence we have right now is that this guy who, you know, Chris Christie keeps saying was a dork in high school, he's got to stop that. It's turning into revenge of the nerds. Only new evidence we have now is that he's not going to have Chris Christie's back. He's implicated and wanting to clear his name. He's giving all indications that he's going to say what he has to say and show whatever he's got show. That changes the equation. But we have no new evidence in the last three days that he actually knew anything. If that comes out, the situation changes completely for Chris Christie. But today, we are in the same spot we were three days ago. We just don't know how this is going to shake out. And we know that wildstein is trying to get immunity before he talks, which is significant. What about the point about Jeb bush? Interesting to see him talk about running for president this week. Take a look. The decision will be can I do it joyfully? We have to have candidates raise our spirits. It's a pessimistic country right now. He can barely crack a smile. Can he do it joyfully? I think so. I think the question he's asking himself -- I've heard him talk about this and say this exact answer for four or five months to his close friends and other people. It's going to depend on can his family be fully supported, his wife and kids. I do think -- He's given up on his mom. He's got to work on his mom. And, you know, when he says do it joyfully, he wants to have an optimistic visionary agenda for America, and go out doing it and campaign, which is a rigorous system, a rigorous process. Do it with happiness and joy and the desire to do it. He's going to sit down in late summer, make that decision. I hope he decides to run. I think he would bring so much to the debate. He would be a game-changer. When it comes to hispanic concern The race -- I always said I was going to be on the republican side, but I was going big or tall, I'd rather go with a tall guy. Go ahead. Now that the right lane is closed on the so-called bridge to 2016, the center lane is open. But I don't think Jeb bush can win the republican nomination. Because of the tea party. They are still anxious -- You hope Jeb bush doesn't win the republican nomination because you know he's going to be tough to beat. To me, this is so telling. Jeb bush is qualified, ran a huge state. I think the name is good. There's questions about whether or not the last name has any penetration capability in the general election. But watch this, there's 330 million Americans, and are we going to vote between a bush and a Clinton in 2016? So many Americans are like, really, there's nobody else to pick from? It's been that way for 30 years. Look at the Washington post/abc news poll, with Hillary Clinton on the democrat side. Unbelievable, 73% support, never a number like that in a primary poll. Two years out still. Bring this to you. You start to hear people really talking about the potential, if she gets in, she'll be virtually unopposed. It's funny. Will Rogers on his head, he said I'm not a member of an organized political party, I'm a democrat. And now they have the unity, and the republicans are falling to pieces. It's an interesting thing. I think ultimately is comes back to -- I haven't said this -- comes back to health reform. Back to the fact that the great democratic dream has been pushed through. Republicans think it's going to collapse, but they're deluding themselves. That means that the party is unified in a way it hasn't been for many, more decades. I don't think it's good for Hillary or the democrats if she's unopposed. What we saw this week is that Hillary Clinton is rusty politically. When she said she hasn't driven since 1996. We thought Mitt Romney was unrelatable? She hasn't worried about car repairs -- You're in a city where lots of people don't drive every day. This isn't a swing state and an early primary. Even with her lead, I think, bill and I were talking about this, don't know if it helps another democrat, but there is an opportunity for somebody with a populist message against wall Street. Don't look at head-to-head Numbers, to run as pro-wall street. The other thing that I think is interesting about this which is ironic, she was road blocked in 2008 by president Obama and couldn't get through the primary to win the general election. Most people thought the democrat was going to automatically win. Now she has no road block S. She has Barack Obama as a road block because his performance in office. I want to get to president Obama right now. We saw the state of the union, talking about executive action. Some confrontation, but less than people expected. Not a lot of hope for major legislation this year. I guess the big question, bill kristol, can any of these things that president Obama is asking for make a big difference? And does this lay the groundwork for his comeback strategy? It's a strikingly un-inspired speech, small liberal ideas without a theme. I watched it on set. I could have written a better speech. I wouldn't have believed it. But if I were a liberal speech writer -- talk about how bad things were, what a disaster bush was, the financial crisis, 10.8%, we are coming back. He could have painted a picture that could have put the republicans on the defensive. He didn't do that. It was here's my small liberal idea on job training and something else. I don't think it was effective. Written a better speech, could you have? I'm not sure. It was a laundry list of small items, and I'm not interested. But pollsters tell me that the public likes laundry list of small items. They don't have a sense of what's small and what's big. And support an increase in the minimum wage. A lot of things that are popular. Lots of republicans support, but the republican party does not. My view on Obama is basically he's been in -- he's been a lame duck since November 2010. Since republicans took control of the house, he's been unable to get anything pass ed, scorched-earth opposition. His first two years make him the most influential since Ronald Reagan. Health care, he didn't mention it. All he has to do is hang on and create the appearance that he's doing something. That's his goal. That's exactly what it was. It was creating the appearance. Because I think it's pretty lame duck to go from hope and change, compare to last year, announcing legislative proposals. He announced 12 executive orders most of us can't remember. If you're down to 12 small liberal ideas, executive orders, you're pretty lame duck. Wrote it down, what's he supposed to do? Republicans when they have nothing to talk about, no new ideas from the republican party, they downgrade modernizing the school, rebuilding our manufacturing sector, giving the American people a raise. They call it little, small, lishlg liberal ideas when most Americans just want to see Washington get something done. I think the president hit all the right bases. It wasn't a home run. Didn't have to hit a home run. The republicans cannot agree among themselves. He gave benchmarks to what he can accomplish without congress. And I think that's the most important. Go ahead. Mike lee, who gave the tea party response, which we ignored, wasn't on TV. Mike lee's speech was more substantive, more reform ideas and more candid in discussing inequality. We have an inequality crisis, here are conservative ideas. He had more ideas than president Obama. And job training, which the president supports. Talked about immigration reform, didn't make a big moral, throwing out red meat arguments. Talked about the economic benefits. It seemed like that was him saying I think I can get this done this year. I'm not going to go out and be way in front of this. I'm going to let republican party work it out, and sign something at the end. I think everybody would love for this thing to happen, but, again, he's trying to bet on the reasonableness of certain republicans in the house or senate to make this happen. This issue for me, and I worked for George bush in 2000, he wanted a hispanic or Latino coalition to build for the republican party and in 2004. The republicans have a major problem. It's not like the hispanic or Latino voters think this is number one, they care about education and jobs and national security, all those things. The problem for republicans is immigration reform is a gateway issue. It basically says you have to do something about that in order for the -- those voters to listen to you on all those other issues. But bill thinks it's crazy politics. Totally crazy. It's a bad bill. The senate bill. To get a bill to the president's desk, it will have to be compromised with the senate democratic bill. There's no compromise for the conservatives in that bill. Why try? They will be in better shape in 2015. This problem has been around a long time. It can wait another year or two. No urgency. Foolish for republicans to bring it up in the house. It's foolish to continue with the status quo. What you heard from Paul Ryan today and what you have been hearing consistently from John Boehner is we're not going to accept the senate version. This version is smaller in scope. Surprisingly and smartly this week, democrats have said they're open to the new version, which does not include citizenship, which is a very tough bill. It's piecemeal, not a big bill like the senate. This is what it's going to be. It does appear that the president is willing to put off citizenship not forever but for an awful long time. Can he hold on to his base if he does that? No, I don't think so. I don't think you can create two classes of citizens, one with legal status and the right to vote and the other without. The democrats are going to have to look at the so-called piecemeal approach that the republicans are outlined, the five-step program, whatever they want to call it, in their recovery mode now to try to get the Latino vote back. But the democrats say compromise reform is the way to go. And look at the piecemeal approaches and if that's one way to move the ball. I'm an immigrant. I'm the one on this table who is an immigrant. I was a refugee, I was a legal permanent resident, and today I'm a U.S. Citizen. Pew documented this, the majority of hispanics, undocumented immigrants are okay with the legalization program because it makes a difference. I cannot say that someone living in fear of deportation cannot take it because it's not citizenship. When I know it solves most of the problems they face. That's the argument the president is making. And one final issue, Amanda Knox convicted by an Italian court. One more appeal left. It raises the question that if the supreme court affirms the conviction, will she be extradited to Italy. Here's what she said. I will never go willingly back tat place -- to the place where I -- I'm going to fight this until the very end. And it's not right. And it's not fair. Matthew dowd, you wrote a kl column where you said that this is the exact issue that confirms that our bias is determined about what we think about a policy issue. It's true. Whether or not I think she's guilty or not, or whether Americans think she's guilty or not. And in their system -- After she was acquitted. But we have supported them over the past 70 years after we helped them set up part of it after world war ii. If an Italian citizen had come here, gotten convicted, and gone back, we how about screaming for extradition. I also think it's a bias towards she's a very attractive young female. A different demographic, we would be looking at this differently. Juice like in the trayvon martin case, so many other cases, if you close your eyes and switch positions, we would be thinking something totally different. I would say make up a list of all the countries that don't have extradition treaties and start planning your life. I don't think there's any chance she gets -- There's a double jeopardy. The U.S. Doesn't have to argue the victim was wrong -- Double jeopardy doesn't apply in this case. Legally it doesn't, but offers an easy out to spin in out. I agree it will be an easy out. Decades. This old-fashioned view that the American presidents watch out for the well-being for American citizens, especially in the United States of America. I would not send her abroad when it's not justice. It's a very corrupt trial and conviction in Italy. That's the last word.

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

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