Transcript for Roundtable II: This Week in Politics
Up to 5 million members now. wayne LaPierre saying this is a once in a generation fight. Some of the senators opposed the background check. Here's senator kelly ayotte. You had mentioned that day the burden of owners on gun stores. I'm just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in the halls of her elementary school isn't as important as that. I'm sorry. And everyone here, no matter what our views are, for what you have been through. The legislation that was on the floor, and the background check system, as I understand the facts, certainly, you know, wouldn't have solved it. Cokie roberts, the president and senator joe manchin, who supported the background checks, an nra member, vowing to bring it back. Will it come up for another vote in the senate? I doubt it. Even if it does, I doubt they can do it this year. But the pressure is changing. What you're seeing in senator ayotte's poll and others for the members who voted against the background checks, they have come down in the polls. And senator pat toomey, the senator that went with manchin on background check, his approval ratings have come up, and particularly on that gun issue. So, it's possible that the politics of this are changing. You've got these organizations, michael bloomberg has got these mayorsgainst gun violence. He's spending a lot of money on it. And the dynamics might start to change on that. You think so? No. Absolutely -- yes. Here's what changed. They exploded the nra membership. I became a lifetime member this week. Bought a pistol. Can't find ammo anywhere. Good. The intensity gap -- I did manage to find some. Did you? The intensity gap for the people who support the second amendment, this isger than guns. And the despicable explosion of the grief of these victims, with legislation that would not have stopped or thwarted any of these tragedies is a real commentary -- I don't think they feel exbit. They're in there, doing it themselves. And I've talked to several of them this has become a very bad issue. This is coming up a vote between now and 2013. And they're going to change something to somebody. And it's going to get out of the senate. And they're going to have to vote on it in the house. That's just going to happen. And the democrats are going to make it happen because they've got a 90% issue here. And they're not going to give it up. The democrats who voted against it, too. I do. I think they're on the wrong side of the issue. They're going to go and come with some kind of a thing. Now, I feel better because of the second amendment right. They'll make some change in the legislation. And I think you're going to find a couple republicans. I think there's more people that voted for this that are happy about their vote than people that voted against this that are happy about their vote. Can I just point out, with the democrats that defeated this -- absolutely. That's right. 4 democrats and 43 republicans. All americans want to do more to protect children, protect all of our citizens. The frustration is, congress always responds to some tragedy with legislation that has nothing to do with the tragedy. And so, republicans are in a difficult position. The public wants to do something. The president is not going to do anything substantive. And the fact is, congress can't solve this problem from washington. A lot of states, a lot of communities, a lot of schools individually are doing more and more to protect people. And that's where we need to provide the resources. This gets back to george's first question. Bill, I'd like to hear what you say about it as a former member of congress. This is a thing where the president didn't seem to lift a finger and call the democrats and I need your vote on that. Well, you'll remember, we lost the house of representatives in the clinton years over a gun vote. I disagree. I'm a westerner, second amendment. But I think what eventually will happen, and again, I'm agreeing with james. There will be a vote later in the year. Early next year, that involves, I think, background checks, gun shows, mental health, even school enhancement of security. Security of schools. Yeah. That somehow will happen. That is my sense because this is a very powerful issue. Now, the most effective and strongest lobbying I've ever seen and I think will always be, is the nra. So, this is going to be a titanic battle. I think the aarp can give them -- a run for their money. One of the reasons we lost in '94, the gun vote. Right. I would say health care. At any rate, I agree. I come back to it. Whether it does any good or not, people want it. And people are going to get this vote. There's going to be gun legislation out of the senate. To the house. I think we should move on to the third amendment. We never talk about the third amendment. We talk about the first and the second. Not bordering any troops in your house. I really don't want them portered in my house. I'm supporting them. The debate began here. On 2016, it's already begun. Senator, your state this friday night was the epicenter of politics. You had a showdown across town. Senator joe biden for the democrats. Senator ted cruz -- vice president joe biden. Senator ted cruz for the republicans. Take a look. As soon as I show up in south carolina, there will be washington press coming down, saying biden's getting ready. Vice president joe biden's in town. You don't even need a punch line. You just say that and people laugh. Where are these guys from? Where do they think a 75-year-old is going to get another $6,500 to get the same health care they have now? He told everyone, if anybody is attacking your home, attacking your family, just go outside with a double-barreled shotgun and fire both barrels in the air. That's great advice, if it so happens you're being attacked by a flock of geese. A lot of red meat for the crowd. They were laughing. They were enjoying it. This came amid some stories this week that he's taking a real look at the presidential race in 2016. I think he's keeping his focus on the senate. Th shows up in south carolina, was really just a favor to me and the republican party. He is a great speaker. That early primary makes no difference. People love ted cruz because he's taking on his own party. He's taking on the other party. He's trying to rock the boat to get us to stop moving towards this cliff that we're headed for as a country. So, I've been in about 25 cities in the last few months. All you have to do is mention ted cruz and people get on their feet. I think he is the most talented and fearless republican politician I've seen in the last 30 years. I further think that he's going to run for president. And he is going to create something. I'm not sitting here saying he's going to win. AND I THINK senator DeMint's right. I've listened to excerpts of his speech in south carolina. He touches every button. And this guy has no fear. He just keeps plowing ahead. And he is going to be something to watch. A lot of republicans feel this way, george. You hear this a lot. If we only got someone who was articulate and was for what we were for, we would win elections. WE GET john McCains and mitt romneys and squishy guys that cannot do anything. One thing he is not, he's not squishy. We're anti-squishy men. Really hard men. What ted cruz does is he joins the ranks that were depleted WHEN senator DeMint was the leader on the reform movement. And with cruz and rubio and lee and tim scott, they're a magnifying force. And they are the future of the republican party. It does seem like, and it makes sense, a race wide-open. No heir apparent. And the democrats are going for essentially a third term. Everyone sees this as their shot. Right. You see rand paul also, in e. Iowa. And wouldn't it be interesting if you had a primary with marco rubio and ted cruz going against each other. And get them all in. Let's have a big, smart debate. They can do it. I'm telling you. Get on the ted cruz watch. I'm telling you. I love ted cruz. Love them all. Rooting for ted cruz. I'm not rooting -- I'm really sincere here. Watch him. He does things -- when he started talking about william travis in south carolina and the alamo, this is a guy -- you go, this guy is something. I don't agree with him. I think he's out there. But I'm telling you, he's more talented than all of these other guys. Let's turn it back to the democratic side. Also, a new quinnipiac poll came out. Showed hillary clinton very early strength right now. Potential democratic field. 65% for hillary clinton. 13% for biden. Andrew cuomo, governor of new york. If hillary clinton does not run, biden jumps to the front. Governor richardson, you're one of the few people I talk to that believes we could see a face-off between hillary clinton and joe biden. They both might run. I think joe biden would not defer. I think he would run. Hillary clinton would be formidable. No question about it. But I've known biden over the years. He is somebody that's always wanted to be president. He's got the eye of the tiger. I mean, he's going to all these events. You see it in the speeches. I was with him friday morning. I think there could be a face-off. But senator clinton is a formidable candidate. Not only is appealing to the base, but appealing to the republican base that supports what she did as secretary of state. Republican base supporting hillary clinton? I don't think so, george. She represents a third term, a continue in the same direction. Republicans don't need to focus on who's running right now. But what are the ideas that can inspire the american people? We ran the last campaign on what was wrong with obama. But it's time for republicans, particularly conservatives that I represent, to show an inspiring message to the american people. That's my priority at the heritage foundation. Not only to talk about the right ideas but to figure out how to connect with the american people. I think the third term notion is really strong. And it's a tough one for the democrats. You think it would deter hillary clinton or vice president biden? I don't think it will deter vice president biden. Secretary clinton is thinking about a variety of things before she decides to run. But my husband has convinced me, that the historical imperative will make her run. The notion of being the first woman president. And of course, everybody is coming to her and saying that, that you need to be the first woman president. You're the one wan do it. And that becomes very, very hard. That makes sense to me, mary. You agree? No. The third term issue is real. Ironically, hillary is to 2016 as george h.W. Bush was to 1992, when we got our clocks cleaned by the clintons. And I think the reason she's been so successful as a woman, will talk her out of it. She knows she can make an impact. A huge impact. Women think different. And the historical paragon as to the way men think. I think it was 1988, when he went for the third term. I've not seen one democrat in the country that does not want her to run. And literally, they know I would be for her. And they come up to me. God, please tell her to run. Look at nancy pelosi and everything. And there's never been a nonincumbent front-runner like her probably since eisenhower. I've never seen -- I can't tell you if she ran who would run or not. She is the most prohibitive front-runner I've seen. Right now. It becomes a much more partisan figure. Absolutely. Let's move on. Just a couple minutes left. Some history made in the nba. Jason collins becomes the first gay player in a major american sport. I spoke to him right after the announcement. I think the country is ready for supporting an openly-gay basketball player. Do you believe it hasn't happened before you? It's kind of mind-boggling. I never set out to be the first. You know, sort of waiting around, for somebody else to raise their hand. And I'm ready to raise my hand. But still look around. Okay. Come on, guys. You know, he said a lot of surprising things in that interview, james carville. His twin brother didn't know he was gay. Said his fiancee he was engaged to for eight years, didn't know he was gay. And he says he doesn't know of any gay players in the nba. Is this going to create an opening when you see a rush of people coming out? Or people just going on living their lives? There might be one or two. He was the perfect guy to come out. You wanted someone to come out he's been in the league a long time. He's kind of respected. I think the interesting thing, IS IN THE LATE '70s, THERE WAS A Baseball player named glen burke, who tried to come out. No one would cover him. He was trying to tell everybody. But this guy handled this thing beautifully. And I think he was the right person at the right time. And it was a good interview. It was good. I think it will create a domino effect. But I don't think it will be a lot of news when there's yet to be a male tennis player that comes out, major league baseball player, a little glen burke. I think more in basketball and football will come out. It won't be covered like this case. But I think it will create a domino effect. I think the politics of it are so fascinating. President obama in that press conference last week, he had left the stage and came back to talk about this. And this is the thing he was most energized about. He clearly wanted to talk about jason collins. And the democrats have really gone out of their way here to embrace the gay community. And a lot of what's going on is shoring up the youth vote. I saw that jason collins is going to appear at a fund-raiser with the first lady. It's all political. I grow up with the bears and the blackhawks and the bulls. The last position of political correctness-free entertainment. Now, the liberals have innovated the last bastion of politics-free area. We don't care who you make out. We want you to make the shot. Just make your shot. I'm just grateful we live in a country who can love who they want and live the way they want. Amen, brother. Thank you, all. A great roundtable. Thank you for contributing. Governor richardson is sticking around to answer your questions on our web extra. 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