'This Week' Transcript: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on 'This Week.'

ByABC News
November 9, 2013, 9:32 AM
PHOTO: ABC News' Cokie Roberts, Representative Keith Ellison (D) Minnesota, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page Editor Paul Gigot, New York Magazine National Affairs Editor John Heilemann, and Republican Strategist Ana Navarro on 'This Week'
ABC News' Cokie Roberts, Representative Keith Ellison (D) Minnesota, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page Editor Paul Gigot, New York Magazine National Affairs Editor John Heilemann, and Republican Strategist Ana Navarro on 'This Week'
ABC News

New York, Nov. 10, 2013— -- A rush transcript of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" airing on Sunday morning, November 10, 2013 on ABC News is below. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Welcome to This Week.

Christie crushes it.


CHRISTIE: I love New Jersey. Thank you very much.


STEPHANOPOULOS: After his commanding win, Chris Christie here live. Has his blue state landslide made him the GOP's man to beat? Can he win over the Tea Party and unite Republicans?

And what about Texas governor Rick Perry? He's back in Iowa. We get answers from both Christie, Perry only on This Week.

Plus, nuclear talks with Iran stall overnight. We've got breaking details.

All that, the powerhouse roundtable, a crack smoking mayor and Senator John Goodman. It's all right here this Sunday morning.

ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, This Week with George Stephanopoulos starts now.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And we begin with two breaking stories. Secretary of State John Kerry leaving Geneva early this morning without a deal over the Iran's nuclear program and new images and information streaming in on that typhoon that has devastated the Philippines.

Officials now fear at least 10,000 are dead. They haven't even reached so many of the hardest-hit places. Ginger Zee has been tracking this tragedy. And Ginger, this may have been the strongest storm ever to hit land

GINGER ZEE, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Right. And that's why meteorologically at first it was fascinating, George. But as we look at the human, these images are just terrifying, horrifying. So many adjectives that you can use. Well, we're starting to see the first aerial pictures of what has happened there in the central Philippine Islands.

And here's what we know. We know that more than 9.5 million people were affected by this storm. We know that in some places that it did the not damage or destroy but wiped clean. And that's why some roads are still choked with debris, transportation shut down. We're not going to get big answers and confirmed answers for quite a while, maybe even weeks at a time.

So, many people affected. And we're hearing stories from inside the zone, social media and otherwise, where they don't have water, they don't have food. And I always call this is the second storm, even though the storm is well off, it's going to northern parts of -- or southeastern China, that's really not going to affect many people in northern Vietnam, much less of a storm. But again that second storm, the human part that happens, George, watch all of this in the next couple of weeks, months and years.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And the U.S. military on its way to help now. Thank you, Ginger.

Now the breakdown of those high-level negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. The weekend began with hope for a deal dashed late yesterday after marathon talks but Secretary Kerry is not giving up.


JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: There's no question in my mind that we are closer as we leave Geneva than we were when we came. And that with good work and good faith over the course of the next weeks we can in fact secure our goal.


STEPHANOPOULOS: ABC's chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran has more on this from London.

And Terry, things seem to take a turn after the French joined the talks.

TERRY MORAN, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, George. What a whirlwind of talks just then. Just a few hours ago, there was this huge anticipation, even a giddiness in diplomatic circles that this historic first step confidence building deal was about to be done.

And what happened as you point out, well the French happened, as Secretary Kerry concluded marathon talks directly with Iranian officials, unprecedented sight there really. The French stepped in and said this proposal wasn't tough enough. They wanted more restrictions on Iran's ability to enrich uranium, control of a new reactor that might produce plutonium. And they called a halt to it all.

The Iranians have responded on Twitter. Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei is on Twitter, naturally. And he said that French officials have been openly hostile to the Iranian nation. But the talks will continue.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Secretary Kerry hoping that they can reach a deal by November 20th?

MORAN: That's right, that's when talks resume. And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who lobbied very intently to bring a halt to this impending deal, said that he was happy with the delay, but that he doesn't fool himself. He believes a deal will get done. And make no mistake, George, it is historic in proportions and will change that region.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, Terry, thank very much. Let's take this right to Governor Chris Christie. First, congratulations on your win Tuesday. You have heard these reports out of Geneva. Secretary Kerry still optimistic. Benjamin Netanyahu calling the deal dangerous.

Where do you come down this? What would you need to see from Iran in order to support relieving sanctions?

CHRISTIE: Well, you know, George, I have to tell you something, I think there are people who are significantly better briefed on this than I am as the governor of New Jersey. And I think it's dangerous for folks like me to get involved in the middle of this and start giving opinions.

Listen, we have to let Secretary Kerry do his work. And then once we see the produce of that work, we can all make a judgment. But, right now, I'm not briefed well enough to be able to give an opinion.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But can you support a deal that allows Iran to continue to enrich uranium?

CHRISTIE: Yeah, George, listen, I'm the governor of New Jersey. And I think for me to be expressing opinions on this this morning would be ill-advised. And I'm not going to do it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, then let's turn to your win on Tuesday.

Already, your potential rivals, if you decide to run in 2016, are out there praising your big win in the state, but also questioning, I guess, how well you're going to travel. When Rand Paul was asked if you're the man to beat in 2016, he called you a moderate and then he added this...


SEN. RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY: You know, I think the party in general is more conservative. I think there's room for moderates in the party. I think it will be more difficult, states like Iowa are very conservative, South Carolina is very conservative, New Hampshire I think is conservative with a little bit of a libertarian bend.


STEPHANOPOULOS: He said that it's a tough road for you, is he right? So is he right? Can you play in places like Iowa and South Carolina?

CHRISTIE: I'm playing in New Jersey. And that's what I care about, George. At the end of the day, what did we see in New Jersey on Tuesday? 61 percent of the votes statewide in a state that President Obama won by 17 points just a year ago.

The fact is, nearly a 40 percent turnaround from a Democratic top of the ticket to a Republican.Majority of the Hispanic vote, nearly tripling our vote among African-Americans. And here's why, because they looked at the record, 143,000 new private sector jobs, $2.3 billion in business tax cuts, spending less this year in fiscal 2014 than in did in fiscal '08, 100 year tenure reform for teachers, and reforming a pension and benefit system to save $120 billion.

People voted on the record of what we have done. I'm proud of it. And how that plays anyplace else is for all the Washington pundits to figure out.

I'm the governor of New Jersey. That's my job. And that's why I asked for four more years. And that's what I intend to do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: All four years?

CHRISTIE: Listen, who knows. I don't know. I'm going to continue to do my job and finish the job. But everybody who is trying to figure out what life is going to bring you a few years from now, I didn't expect to be sitting here four years ago, George. So, nobody can make those predictions.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One issue that's sure to come up is immigration. You mentioned that you got a majority of the Latino vote in your re-election. And you're for a path to citizenship.

You also said that undocumented students in New Jersey should get in-state tuition rates. Do you think other states should adopt that policy as well?

CHRISTIE: Listen, I think nationally, they have to fix a broken system. And I think this is one of the real frustrations that people across the country have on this and a myriad of other issues is they look at what governors do, like in New Jersey, where we confront problems, we debate them, we argue about them, then we get to a table, we come to an agreement, we fix them and we move on. And in Washington, that seems to almost never happens.

And so I think, listen, everybody has got to sit at a table, everyone is going to have a point of view on immigration, and a myriad of other issues. Well, let's have our argument out publicly, then let's get to the table, come to a consensus and then move on.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So -- but do you think that national solution should include both a path to citizenship and that relief on in-state college tuition?

CHRISTIE: I think the national solution has to be -- has to be figured out by the people who are in charge of our national government. My job is to fix what's going on in New Jersey.

But I will tell you this, George, we're not going to be able to fix all the things we need in New Jersey until national leaders set a national immigration policy. That's federal law, federal policy that needs to be fixed. It's a broken system, it's not working for the economy, it's not working for the individuals who are affected by it. It's not working for the governments. So we need to get them in a room, the president needs to lead and members of congress need to do it, too. And if they do that, then I think it will help our economy and help our country if we get to some resolution.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Including a path to citizenship?

CHRISTIE: George, I don't get to make those determinations, the folks in Washington, D.C.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you get to have an opinion.

CHRISTIE: Well, listen, I can have an opinion about lots of things, George, but we're not going to go through all that this morning are we? It's 2013 and I just got elected the governor of New Jersey again. So, the fact is, I have already said what I believe, which is it's a broken system and it needs to be fixed. Now let's get to work doing it.

And to the extent they want contributions from governors based on our the ground experience, I'm happy to contribute to that debate and discussion. But right now, there's nothing going on.

STEPHANOPOULOS: There's also been a lot of questions about the president's health care plan. You called on him to apologize this week. He seemed to take your advice, a couple of days later he did apologize for people who were getting their health plans canceled.

What should he do next? Are you for delay in further implementation of the law?

CHRISTIE: Listen, anybody who has run anything in their lives could see this coming a mile away. And that's why we didn't do a state based health exchange. We didn't do it because we could see that this whole program was going to be a problem. And so that the president's biggest problem right now is he's got to tell the truth and we have seen this in New Jersey. I have told a lot of hard truths in New Jersey that people didn't necessarily agree with, but they give you credit for looking them in the eye and telling them the truth.

So let's get to that point, let's own up, tell the truth about what's going on. Then they can worry about whether he can work something out to fix the problem. But if you're working out of a fantasy that these are not major problems that need to be fixed, and need to be addressed, this is what lots of us have been saying all along about the fact that this was just too big for the government to handle.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You didn't set up an exchange, but you did accept the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare. And some, again, of your potential rivals like Ted Cruz are going to come after you on that. What's your answer?

CHRISTIE: I do what's best for the people in the state of New Jersey every day. And expanding Medicaid in the state of New Jersey, given how expansive our program already was, it was a relatively small expansion. But it's going to mean a lot. And it's also going to benefit New Jersey's budget.

See, here's what makes me different than a lot of these other guys, I'm going to do what I think is right for the people who elected me. And a lot of these folks are always trying to put their figure in the wind and see which way the wind is blowing that day. My job is to run the state of New Jersey. That's what I do every day. And the fact is, George, when you do that, people across the spectrum give you credit. And that's what the elections results, 61 percent of the vote on Tuesday, show.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It was a sweeping win. You're also in the news this week, because of this book "Double Down" about the 2012 campaign. And one of the authors, John Heilemann, is on our roundtable. Extension section on the Romney vice presidential search process. They leaked your file. Never seen that happen before. And had concerns about a number of things in your background, including this passage on the man who supervised your background check. A guy named Ted Newton. And he says this -- he says, there are people -- "now surveying the sum and substance of what the team was finding, Newton told his colleagues if Christie had been in the nomination fight against us, we would have destroyed him. He wouldn't be able to run for governor again. When you look below the surface, Newton said, it's not pretty."

I know you think that all of these issues have been vetted. But a possible run for president brings a whole 'nother level of scrutiny, are you prepared for that?

CHRISTIE: George, listen, first off, political advice from people who ran the Romney campaign, is probably something nobody should really give a darn about. Let's start with that.

But secondly, all of these issues have been vetted. And if I ever run for anything again, they'll be vetted again. If you're in public life, that's what you have to understand. But listen to Governor Romney, and what Governor Romney said when he spoke last week was that none of this caused him any pause at all. And so I'll take Mitt Romney's interpretation of all this rather than some, you know, paid political consultant, who was trying to make himself famous, obviously, in the book.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, you saw that Time magazine cover this week. We're going to show it right there. "The elephant in the room." Did that bother you at all or did you think it was clever?

CHRISTIE: You know, George, if I'm bothered by jokes about my weight, it's time for me to crawl up into a fetal position and go home. OK? The fact is, that, you know, if they think it's clever, great for them. I mean, they run the magazine. They get to make the positions.

Here's the thing -- the way the people of New Jersey look at this, their governor has been on the cover of Time magazine twice in one year. We must be doing something right. And the fact is that they reaffirmed what we did, and what our strategy was for the last four years. Go everywhere, show up, govern and make decisions. Not just go to the places where they vote for you, but go to the places where they haven't voted for you.

I did a town hall in Irvington, New Jersey, 4.7 percent of the vote is what I got in 2009. When I did it at this Baptist church, there were more people in the church than voted for me from that town in 2009. You go places where people need to hear you, and more importantly, you need to hear them. That's the way you grow and expand the political movement. That's how you get the kind of numbers we got on Tuesday night. People in New Jersey are proud of me. Whatever they put on the cover of Time magazine, as long as my name is with it, I could care less.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And wherever you go the next few years, a lot of people are going to be following you. Governor Christie, thanks very much.

CHRISTIE: George, thank you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's turn now to another New Jerseyian, Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I do want to get to Iran with you as you -- from your seat on the Foreign Relations Committee. But first, we just heard from Governor Christie on his record. Was it as a commanding a win and as much a validation of his record as he said?

MENENDEZ: Clearly the governor had a big win. I mean, you know, when you win by 20, 21 points, that's a big win in any state.

So, you know, the governor had a big win, and I think that's a testament to his own person within the state as well as the effort that he, you know, put together in terms of different elements of the electorate.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How about your reaction to the breakdown of the Iranian nuclear talks in Geneva? Secretary Kerry is still optimistic the deal can be reached by the end of the month. Are you?

MENENDEZ: George, it depends on what the deal is. My concern here is that we seem to want the deal almost more than the Iranians. And you can't want the deal more than the Iranians, especially when the Iranians are on the ropes. And it seems to me we're moving more and more away from the global position, the position adopted by the U.N. Security Council, that basically says two things -- cease all enrichment and accept more protocols, which means more invasive inspections (ph) and including to places that we have not had access to in the Iranian -- in the Iranian production system.

So, I am glad to see, from what I read from press accounts, because that's all I know at this point, having not had a chance to be briefed, that the French took a hard position against the Arak, you know, facility, because that is a heavy water nuclear reactor whose only purpose from my perspective, in a country that has already huge oil reserves, is ultimately to create the type of nuclear fuel for nuclear weapons.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But is your position that all enrichment has to stop? Because the Iranians, as you know, there was another tweet from the president today saying that's a red line for them. His tweet says, "There are red lines that cannot be crossed. Our national interests are our red lines, including enrichment and other rights under international law."

MENENDEZ: Well, first of all, that's where we have a fundamental disagreement. There is no right under international law for domestic enrichment. There is a right to a peaceful, civilian nuclear program, undoubtedly. But our neighbors here in the United States, Canada and Mexico, they have nuclear programs, but they don't enrich domestically. So this suggestion that there is this right to enrichment domestically is problematic, as well as that Iran has in the past taught us their path. Rouhani said in his book, that in fact, when he was the nuclear negotiator, he was able to convince the West not to apply sanctions, and yet they moved their nuclear program to a point in which it is now incredibly problematic. So, if past is prologue, we have to be very wide-eyed about what these negotiations are and what we accept.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Secretary Kerry has asked Congress to hold off on any new sanctions until these negotiations are completed. Are you willing to do that or are you going to move forward on these sanctions right now?

MENENDEZ: Well, you know, I said that I would wait until this week, and in fact, this week has not produced a result. And to be very honest with you, I think that the possibility of moving ahead with new sanctions, including wording it in such a way that if there's a deal that's acceptable, that those sanctions could cease upon such a deal, is possible. It's an insurance -- it's an insurance for the United States to make sure that Iran actually complies with an agreement that we would want to see, which is of course, desirable.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you will move forward this week?

MENENDEZ: So -- at the same time, it's also an incentive to the Iranians to know what's coming if you don't strike a deal. So I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to move forward on a package that ultimately would send a very clear message where we intend to be if the Iranians don't strike a deal and stop their nuclear weapons program.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, Senator Menendez, thank you very much.

MENENDEZ: Thank you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: When we come back, the roundtable analyzes all the election fallout, that Obama apology, plus, Texas Governor Rick Perry has a question for Chris Christie.


PERRY: Is a conservative in New Jersey a conservative in the rest of the country?


STEPHANOPOULOS: But can Perry come back from his last White House run? We'll ask him after this.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Roundtable coming right up, their take on Christie's rise, Obama's apology, and all the election-day fallout right after this.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We heard from Chris Christie, now to another Republican with his eye on the White House.

Some thought Rick Perry would never recover from that oops moment last time around. But the Texas governor was back in Iowa this week doing what candidates do. And ABC's Jeff Zeleny went with him.


JEFF ZELENY, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, governor, thank you very much for joining us.

I want to show you a copy of this week's Time magazine. Chris Christie had a big win in a blue state. Was his win impressive?

PERRY: Yes. Absolutely it was an impressive victory.

ZELENY: Is Chris Christie a true conservative governor?

PERRY: He was a successful governor in New Jersey. Now does that transcend to the country? We'll see in later years and months to come.

ZELENY: Is that code for he's a moderate?

PERRY: No. It's code for the truth of the matter is -- listen, we're all different states. Is a conservative in New Jersey a conservative in the rest of the country?

ZELENY: It sounds like you're skeptical that it may not be.

PERRY: I'm just saying that we'll have that discussion at the appropriate time.

ZELENY: OK. So many divisions inside the Republican Party. Is it time, do you think, for the Tea Party wing to be more pragmatic in elections going forward in 2014?

PERRY: If you can't win elections, you can't govern. The idea that we didn't win in '08 and '12, we're paying a huge price in this country.

ZELENY: So one of those people being criticized for not being a leader in the governing helm is your fellow Texan Ted Cruz.

SEN. TED CRUZ, (R) TEXAS: I rise today in opposition today to Obamacare.

PERRY: Well, I certainly enjoyed the 21 hours of him standing up and pointing out the foibles and problems with Obamacare. It would have been wiser for us to lay the wood to the president, so to speak, in the sense of being able to call him out on this and let it become an issue of, Mr. President, you own this. This is yours.

ZELENY: So, the president has said he's sorry for misleading some of those Americans that he thought they could keep their insurance plans. Do you think that's enough?

PERRY: I don't think it's even close to enough. He needs to to stand up in front of the American people and say, you know, what. I perpetrated a fraud on you.

ZELENY: Governor Perry has just one year left in office, with many wondering what's next? This was his first trip back to Iowa since the 2012 campaign meeting with business owners, Republican leaders and stopping by a local gun company.

Is it too early for people to be asking the 2016 question.

PERRY: I don't think it's too early. I think it's part of the process.

ZELENY: He knows if he makes another White House run he'll have to take his famous debate fumble head-on.

PERRY: I'd cut the commerce and let's see -- I can't -- the third one, I can't, sorry. Oops.

ZELENY: At a Republican fundraising dinner in Des Moines, he started his reintroduction like this.

PERRY: Our leaders have forgotten how to govern. And believe me, I know a few things about forgetting.

ZELENY: His new political action committee is launching a new television ad.

PERRY: Pro-growth and pro-free enterprise policies are putting people to work, something we need more of in Washington.

ZELENY: Making clear he's keeping the door wide open.

How tough is it, do you think, to make a second impression on these Republican voters?

PERRY: Oh, I think second chances are what America has always been about.

For This Week, Jeff Zeleny, ABC News, Des Moines, Iowa.


STEPHANOPOULOS: We'll see if he's right about that. Time now for the roundtable now. Joined by Paul Gigot, editorial page head of the Wall Street Journal, ABC's Cokie Roberts, Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison from Minneapolis, Republican strategist Ana Navarro from CNN and John Heilemann, New York Magazine, also the author of double down, the game change of 2012. Thanks to you all for being here.

Let's talk about this Republican race. We saw Chris Christie. We saw Rick Perry right there, Paul Gigot, and it's clear that Christie is trying to own the center of this board. He's got all kinds of conservatives lining up from Perry to Cruz to Rubio to Paul all to his right.


STEPHANOPOULOS: He would argue about that, I suppose.

GIGOT: And I think he shouldn't take that bait. He should not run as a moderate. He should avoid that kind of distinctions, those are the kinds of things the press likes to put on him. He should come out and have a reform agenda of his own that can appeal to all sides of the Republican spectrum, transcend the so-called conservative-moderate divide, don't play that game. And I think with his record in New Jersey, he'll have an appeal to an awful lot of Republicans and particularly because he's a governor.

COKIE ROBERTS, ABC NEWS: That's exactly right.

GIGOT: He's outside of Washington.

ROBERTS: Absolutely.

And look, it's not -- I think the way he would frame it, it's not conservative or moderate, it's pragmatist. And that's, of course, what governors are. They have to run states. They have to balance budgets. They have to do things that, you know, sometimes they hate doing.

I mean, he made a point to me later, that they also elected a democratic legislature. So he knows that he's got people keeping an eye on him at the voter's behest. And so, you know, this is a much more practical get things done role than you see in Washington.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Ana Navarro, the coded question of the week is he the Republican -- Paul Gigot talked about the reform agenda. Is he the Republican's Bill Clinton or the next Rudy Giuliani?

ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think he's the Republican's Chris Christie. And I think he can't run as either a moderate or a conservative, he has got to run as Chris Christie. He's got a very defined brand and larger than life personality already that we're all aware of. And he has got to hone in on the point that he got these numbers. He got 51 percent of the Hispanic vote in a blue state.

George, this is after we just came out of race where Mitt Romney got 27 percent of the vote.

If anybody could get near the numbers that Christie got with African-American voters, with Hispanic voters, with women voters, with independents we would be in the White House.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ...pinned down on immigration.

But Keith Ellison, you know, Democrats already taking aim at Chris Christie. He's facing a little bit of a dilemma, the more they push the argument that he's a hard-edged conservative that could end up helping him in the primaries?

REP. KEITH ELLISON, (D) MINNESOTA: Well, he's too conservative for me. But here's the reality, he's for a common sense gun safety. He accepted the money for the Medicaid expansion. And he was out there stumping for New Jersey for Sandy relief, these are pragmatic things.

But I think just doing what any public servant would do doesn't make you a superstar. But in this Republican field apparently it does.

STEPHANOPOULOS: John, how many -- something remarkable happened in your book. I mean, the entire vetting file -- we just talked to Chris Christie about it -- from the vice presidential search for Mitt Romney leaked you guys. You heard his response right there, not worried about another round of scrutiny even though he knows it's coming if he decides to run for president.

JOHN HEILEMANN, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Well, he's smart enough to know it's coming. You know, what we reported on in the book is that there were -- the Governor Romney's team looked at him really closely for vice president. They looked at a series of things that are in the public record, but that most people in national politics don't know, the fact that for a period of time he was a lobbyist, and a lobbyist for the Securities industry association when it was run by Bernie Madoff, the fact that Justice Department inspector general investigated him for expense account abuse and was very critical of him.

A lot of things that are out there again just below the surface, people don't really know about them. And there were a series of other things that they wanted from Chris Christie that he was not forthcoming, in their view, about, things like his health records, things like his other lobby clients, things like a defamation lawsuit that had been filed against him, his brother who is involved in an investment scandal.

There was a lot of stuff they wanted from him that he didn't turn over.

The one thing he said on the interview today that was not factually true is that Governor Romney was not affected by those things. In fact, when he got the full document, the vetting dossier that we reported about and then quote from in the book, that was the day when Governor Romney looked at dossier and pulled the plug on Chris Christie.

He thought that the full range of issues were a lot of potential land mines and there were a lot of unanswered questions.

So, none of those things may be smoking guns, George, but you know that when he steps up on the national stage -- and I think he knows this too -- the level of scrutiny will be much, much higher.

ROBERTS: I don't think he does knows it, because nobody knows it until they're there.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you can know it in election...

ROBERTS: You know, but not have the...

STEPHANOPOULOS: You spoke with the Romney team about this, right?

NAVARRO: I spoke to Beth Myers who is a friend of mine and a colleague of mine right now...

STEPHANOPOULOS: She ran the vice president...

NAVARRO: And she ran the vice presidential search. I spoke to her last night about this. She's a colleague of mine in Harvard right now. And she told me that none of these issues had anything to do with why Christie wasn't pick.

She also said that she'd never heard of Project Goldfish until about 10 days ago, so it wasn't something that -- you know, which is what in the book, it's called -- she doesn't think it's factually correct.

She talked to me also about having to make that phone call in Chris Christie in the summer when she found this was all coming out and said he had been incredibly professional about it and just very respectful and understanding.

Yes, was he disappointed? Could he have screamed at her? Yes, but that's not what happened.

I think this is a good thing for Chris Christie, because all of this stuff is going to get flushed out two years before the point, which is a lot better than it getting flushed out in the midst of an election.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the other things that's going to get flushed out the next couple of years, I want to bring this to you, Paul Gigot, is this whole struggle, battle, whatever you want to call it between the establishment winning in the Republican Party and the Tea Party wing. And both sides came away from an election on Tuesday with their arguments?

GIGOT: Well that's right. I mean the defeat in Virginia, the governor's defeat, had many fathers. The shutdown hurt a lot.

ROBERTS: Three in ten households in Virginia were personally affected by the government shutdown.

GIGOT: Thirty percent of the votes in Virginia are in the suburbs of Washington. And Cuccinelli, the Republican lost those by 135,000 votes. And he lost statewide only by 55,000. So the shutdown hurt. But also the Republican establishment did not think Cuccinelli could win even though he was (inaudible) and gain in the end--

STEPHANOPOULOS: And so the Tea Party is saying they didn't back him up.

GIGOT: And there's some truth to that. They didn't put enough money in; at the end in the particular it would have helped him.

ELLISON: You know I wouldn't credit the shutdown with the victory of Terry McAuliffe and the reason why is because all these all these folks like Cuccinelli have been anti-government for a long time. Those public employees know who's on their side and who isn't. (inaudible) was just the latest, best example of how hostile to government workers that far right group has been.

ROBERTS: Well but in Virginia, we ask, you know, in our exit polls, do you think government should be doing more or less? And in Virginia 51% said less. So you know, it's not that the government workers are--

ELLISON: It all depends on what. You know it all depends on what.

ROBERTS: The other thing--

ELLISON: If you're a federal employee, you want the government open and working--


ELLISON: And you don't like people putting you down.

ROBERTS: What I thought was most interesting in the Tea Party issue was the special election in Alabama. This was an election for a House Seat that is in the Gulf Coast area that has generally sent real legislators to Washington.

And Tea Party candidate lost that election with the establishment going very hard against him. And the Republican National Committee Congressional Committee Chairman said he was pleased about that. And he said this is a district that sends talented and effective Republican legislators to Congress. That's sending a signal that we're ready to get things done.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the other things we saw in this election was that Cuccinelli in Virginia seemed far behind in the polls a couple of weeks out. Talked about nothing but Obamacare the last couple of weeks. It ended up being relatively point, 2-1/2 point race, and John Heilemann, a lot of people look at that and saying it shows the power of this Obamacare issue. And we also saw, and I want to show this, the president' apology this week.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Even though it's a small percentage of folks who maybe disadvantaged, you know, it means a lot to them and it's scary to them. And I am sorry that they, you know, are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances that they got from me--


STEPHANOPOULOS: And that coming after the president got an earful from a lot of Democrats who are worried right now.

Well this is part of the problem with the Virginia result is that there's no real way to know what happened. And if you think about the spending disparity that Paul talked about, you think about the shutdown having its effect. But also there's no question that at the end, this Obamacare issue became central. And so for a lot of people who are on the right who believe that it's a winning issue to continue to fight Obamacare, they look at the Cuccinelli result and they think it actually gives ballast to their argument.

It is an issue that is, unfortunately, and this is one of the things that we write about in the book as well, Governor Romney could never really litigate the issue fully in 2012. So because of Romneycare he was kind of boxed in. And we never really got, the president can't really claim the kind of mandate, if Rick Perry had been the Republican nominee or Newt Gingrich had been the Republican nominee, Obamacare would have been front and center. And if the president had one, he could have stood up and said, I won, I have a mandate now for Obamacare. That didn't happen.

A lot of people in the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party feel like it wasn't really litigated in 2012 and now all the things that have happened with the problems of the website, the problems of the rollout, the apparent misstatements by the president, have only fueled the fire more to keep fighting this fight. And there's no political clarity about whether it's a winner or a loser for Republicans which is why it's not, the results from Tuesday are not a clear victory for establishment Republicans, Tea Party people feel emboldened--


HEILEMANN: And not dampened down.

NAVARRO: I think we're all emboldened right now in the Republican Party. I actually think the shutdown had the consequence of emboldening the non-Tea Party branch. You saw Kelly Ayotte take Ted Cruz into a room and everybody started opening up on him and saying stop raising money against incumbent Republicans like me, was saying Kelly Ayotte who can get elected in New Hampshire. Who are you going to get elected if not?

And you're seeing donors step up to the plate. I think you're going to think more organized effort by non-Tea Party Republicans. We're going to be duking this out for a while until we have a nominee.

GIGOT: Republicans are united on the substance of opposition to Obamacare. The differences in the shutdown were tactical. How to handle it. This unites Republicans and it's going to unite them, I think, through 2014. Because just as the voters punished Democrats for the passage of Obamacare in 2010, I think Republicans think they're going to punish Democrats for the implementation failures this time around. And it's going to be a very potent issue.

ELLISON: But what do you with the fact that Governor Christie accepted the Medicaid expansion and New Jerseyans are going to be better off for it. I mean I think that John has a point when he says that it's not clear whether this is good or bad for Republicans. I think it's bad for them to keep on going against the Affordable Care Act because, you know, this website will be fixed. You will have--

STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you confident it's going to get fixed by the end of the November?

ELLISON: Yeah, I am confident of it.

NAVARRO: There is much bigger issues than the website. There is policy issues.

ELLISON: Yeah here's a bigger issue.

NAVARRO: People are very angry out there Congressman.

ELLISON: Here's a bigger issue, before we passed the Affordable Care Act you had 57% of Americans declaring bankruptcy because of medical debt. And now we're not going to be seeing that. That's the deal.

ROBERTS: Not 57%.

ELLISON: Well no, no, 57% of all bankruptcy filings were because of medical debt. Thanks for the clarification. But my point is we had a bad situation before. Republicans did nothing about it--

ROBERTS: It could also get worse though. We could start to find--

ELLISON: From 2000 to 2006 and now we're doing something about it and all they want to do is complain.

ROBERTS: We could start to find that when the employer mandate kicks in that employers start covering people too. So there are a lot of landmines along the way.

ELLISON: If that happens all it proves is that we need a result for the American people where they can get affordable health care.

NAVARRO: Let me tell you something, Cokie's absolutely right. That is going to happen. When you talk to employers, when you talk to business owners out there, they are looking at how much paying the fine is going to cost, versus the increased cost of covering--

ELLISON: No, hold on--


ROBERTS: But despite this argument, it's really the issues only play a certain role in these elections. And Chris Christie had such a landslide that he won everybody basically. And the fact is that you look at Virginia and it's much more of a big yellow flag for Republicans because they won whites really big, but they lost minorities and young people and women.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's all on the Republican side, that's true. But right now--

ROBERTS: In large numbers.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're seeing President Obama's job approval rating drop.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And it was very low 40s, I want to bring this to Jon Heilemann I think coming out of the shutdown, a lot of Democrats said, hey wait, maybe there's a chance we can take back the house next year. But then that can't happen if the president's approval numbers are in the low 40s.

HEILEMANN: That's totally true. But there's a lesson in all of these things which is that a lot of these issues that seem to be game changers for a moment, turn out to be really evanescent. And so Paul's point a second ago was that the shutdown was a tactical decision Republican's made. They thought that was a political winner. It turned out to be a political lower.

Now the Obamacare thing seems to Republicans to be a political winner. I don't think tactically that a year, a little over a year, a little less than a year from now, what is the Republican solution on Obamacare? Repeal has never been popular.

GIGOT: I didn't say there, Republicans need to have an alternative. There's no question about it.

HEILEMANN: They don't have one.

GIGOT: I think that there are a lot of available policies that could (inaudible). In 2014, the motive, Obamacare's becoming a metaphor for the failure of government.

HEILEMANN: But it may not be six months from now. It may not be.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We've got to take a quick break. More roundtable coming up. Plus that crazy story out of Toronto, the mayor smoking crack. We're going to check in with Canada's Jon Stewart, George Stroumboulopoulos about that. And we go behind the scenes, you heard that right, I said it right. Behind the scenes of this new comedy from Amazon.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Who is the Twitter star that Washington is buzzing about? It's not who you think. That answer and the roundtable's take on how Twitter is revolutionizing politics, next.


STEPHANOPOULOS: What a coming out party this week for Twitter, the social media phenom soared from the opening bell of its IPO. Whatever happens next to the stock, Twitter is already transforming the political world. The roundtable here to weigh in on that. After this from our Political Director, Rick Klein.


RICK KLEIN, ABC POLITICAL DIRECTOR: The biggest moment in Twitter history, move over Justin Bieber. Sorry Prince George. You can't top the Obamas. And in tweet-crazed Washington, there may be no bigger Twitter celebrity than Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley.

You think of your average tweeter and I don't think that Senators such as yourself come to mind. But what is--

GRASSLEY: Just because I'm 80 years old?

KLEIN: Maybe that's part of it.

Grassley's tweets are the subject of endless fascination.

STEPHEN COLBERT: "As this x prof of con law" Tough talk? Sure. Tough to understand? Oh yeah.

Then there was the famous time he informed the public about that thud he just heard on an Iowa Road.

GRASSLEY: We hit a deer. Well in Iowa you hit a deer, you assume it's dead.

KLEIN: All 100 Senators have Twitter accounts as do 97% of House members and 49 of the 50 governors. Twitter has launched careers as with Cory Booker. And it's ended them.

WEINER: Today I'm announcing my resignation from Congress.

KLEIN: When Senator Marco Rubio took an awkward swig of water on national television, his team knew the perfect response.

National Security officials use Twitter as an early warning sign and a valuable outlet.

VIETOR: One of the most important if not the single most important way to get your message out.

KLEIN: Especially when you're a Senator with vital information to disseminate.

GRASSLEY: Let's see, tweet there. I'm being intrvus (sic) by ABC.

KLEIN: For This Week I'm Rick Klein, that's @RickKlein.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you Rick Klein. We've been having a lively debate during the commercial on whether or not Twitter is helping or hurting politics, helping or hurting journalism.

Congressman Keith Ellison, active user.

ELLISON: OK first thing I've got to say is @KeithEllison, follow me. But you know it's a good way to get a message out and to get feedback. Because if you just send out like a press release, that's sort of a one way thing. But Twitter's two-way so you can hear from people.

I tweeted at the President the other day about the, raising the minimum wage. We got a lot of follows. We got a lot of tweet backs and had a real lively discussion.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Real engagement. You know we also saw the last presidential campaign, Jon Heilemann, just the explosion of coverage on Twitter.

HEILEMANN: Well and you know, to me it's not a question of good or bad. The main thing it's done, more than anything, is it's kind of the latest in the succession of technologies that have sped up the news cycle. You go back to fax machines, cable, blogs, Facebook, now Twitter right?

And all of them, in each iteration, all it's done is made, we used to talk about oh the 24 hour news cycle. Now we have a literally second-by-second news cycle. I don't know if that's good or bad for politics, but it has changed politics a lot.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well it's not only sped up the new cycle but also reinforces this tendency to chase after the brightest new object out there.

GIGOT: It's amazing how rapidly it goes. And I don't tweet myself, but I follow it because you can see where the debate is going. It gives you tips of what stories are hot and who's following it.

But it does mean that sometimes it is a shooting star. And within 24 hours everybody has tweeted and they all say, well move on.

ROBERTS: It does though, I mean, I do not tweet and have never been on Twitter. But I do think that it has the effect of making spinning less effective. Because if somebody's trying to tell you after a debate for instance, that this is how it went, and spinning. There are all these other people saying something completely differently.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But still it's a relatively small sample given the country.


NAVARRO: Well I, you know, I think that it's made spinning more effective and it's also made it more instant. You've got to do more spinning now because you don't have nearly the time you did before to respond to a crisis. You've got to do it immediately.

And that's also a great tool to reach young people. I mean I hate to break it to you, it makes me cry too, but young people aren't watching TV.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're exactly right.

NAVARRO: They're seeing in in places like LinkedIn, Twitter.

ROBERTS: They have done academic studies on it though that show that it has, it contributed to the polarization. And you know that's our big problem these days.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Follow people you already agree with.

NAVARRO: Oh Cokie, everything has contributed to the polarization. Polarization has contributed to the polarization.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's the last word today that was a great roundtable. Thank you all very much.

Up next, Canadian TV star George Stroumboulopoulos tells us all we need to know about Toronto's crack-smoking mayor. And we go behind the scenes of Amazon's brand new comedy "Alpha House."


STEPHANOPOULOS: The headlines were stunning, Mayor Smokes Crack. It happened in Toronto, it was caught on tape. The mayor confessed and his approval ratings jumped.

Here's ABC's Reena Ninan.


NINAN: It's an apology that took six months to make. And this morning the mayor of Canada's largest city is weighing his options.

MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO: I embarrassed everyone in the city and I will be forever sorry.

NINAN: On Tuesday, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, finally admitting he smoked crack cocaine after denying the allegations since May.

FORD: Yes I have smoked crack cocaine. Am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors.

NINAN: Elected three years ago promising to stop the gravy train at City Hall. It's the runaway train Rob Ford himself he's unable to contain.

CONAN O'BRIEN: The mayor of Toronto has admitted he smoked crack while in a drunken stupor. The mayor was charged with being way too exciting for Canada.

NINAN: And now new video obtained by "The Toronto Star" shows Ford on an expletive-filled rant threatening to kill someone.

MAYOR FORD: All I can do now is apologize and move on.


NINAN: While two-thirds now say they want Ford to resign or go to rehab, his approval rating has actually increased five points since before the scandal George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK Reena, thanks. We're joined now by Canadian Broadcaster George Stroumboulopoulos, great to see you again.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Good to see you sir.

STEPHANOPOULOS: George what is going on up in Toronto?

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: It is a strange turn of events up there. I think it's unprecedented for us. You know we're used to scandals. There's one going on with the Prime Minister's office and the Senate now and other mayors. But this is a particular kind of scandal that we're figuring out.

It's a big city but it's growing and people are trying to understand the divide between the suburbs and the downtown core. And I think that's what this is really about.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How was he able to go on with these denials for so long even though the tape was kind of out there?

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: That's the question for the ages George. We can't do much about it. When the mayor's elected you can't get them out of office unless they're incarcerated essentially. There are a couple of other ways to do it.

But we kind of wait for the proof. And if there is no proof, then there is no proof. And now that the proof is out there, there's the acceptance, the rest of Torontonians say, OK now what do we do? It really is the most polarized time for us in that city.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Does it, so does he actually have a strong group of supporters who say, hey hold on, stay in office, we're behind you?

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: It's hard to tell if it's from his base or if it's from his and his brother. If these guys are just going to shamelessly hold on. No one really knows, but around the outskirts of the city and the suburbs, he does have a real base. It's wavering a little bit.

His popularity is going up. Yes the calls for his resignation are also going up. So no one knows what any of those numbers mean right now because it's still over a year away from the next election, or just around a year away from the next election.

But it's a polarized city, they don't have any other people who are real populist the way he is. And I think that a lot of people like the fact that there's this guy who seems to be fighting for them. He talks about the gravy train, uses those kinds of terms.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I guess it must be frustrating for Canadians to have this be the story that crosses the border.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: In a way it is. The one thing that most Canadians realize is that this is the city where Anthony Weiner is right? This is the country that has lot of presidents. All around the world politicians screw up majorly. This is just our time.

But every country has it, every city has it. The fact that it's crack and this is a mayor that's so polarizing to begin with, makes it more sensational. And they are so audacious, the two Ford brothers. That I think it seems out of character for who we are, but it isn't. Because it's a really diverse country and a diverse city.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes or no, a year from now is he in office?

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Oh I'll leave that up to the voters. I don't know. But the fact that it is unknown says a lot about his position.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK. George Stroumboulopoulos thanks very much.

We turn now to our Sunday Spotlight shining on the new comedy "Alpha House" Amazon's big bid to enter the TV world written by Doonesbury's Gary Trudeau. It stars John Goodman and based very loosely on a group home of Senators. ABC's Jon Karl went behind the scenes.


GOODMAN: Take your time, I'll make some coffee for everyone.

KARL: Imagine Bill Murray as a foul-mouthed US Senator getting hauled off to jail. That's where Amazon's new comedy series "Alpha House" kicks off. When Murray, playing one of four Senators who bunk together in a townhouse, forgets to go to prison.

Bill Murray. What was it like having him on set?

GOODMAN: He was there very, very briefly but he blazed like a comet.

KARL: We wanted to play part of that scene but you've got to bleep out so much.

GOODMAN: Yeah, we're on the internet, we can do anything we want.

KARL: John Goodman plays the leader of the pack as North Carolina Republican Gil John Biggs who we learn, likes to nap in the shower.

(UNKNOWN): Jesus Gil John save some hot water for Adrianna.

KARL: You don't do a lot of nude scenes do you?

GOODMAN: Oh for God's sake. No. Why subject the American people, they've already been through enough lately.

KARL: Mark Consuelos is the new house mate, Florida Senator Andy Guzman.

CONSUELOS: My guy is pretty much talking to anybody who wears a skirt which is a lot of fun to play. Because you get free license.

KARL: Matt Malloy is Senator Lewis Laffer who decides the best way to look tough in a re-election race against a Tea Party challenger is to wrestle Stephen Colbert. How did you (inaudible) that wrestling scene?

MALLOY: I was told it was to end in an awkward position.

KARL: There was a little bit of an awkward position.

MALLOY: People bend into some funny shapes to keep their job.

KARL: Clark Johnson plays Pennsylvania Senator Bettencourt. Why'd you decide to do this?

JOHNSON: I do "Homeland" a lot and they're "threats against the president" and I come here and goes, threats against the president, ah!

KARL: It's a comedy of course but the show's creators when to great lengths to keep it looking authentic. Building realistic Senate offices, they even brought a real Senator to the set for a cameo.

Senator Laffer, Senator Schumer.

Chuck Schumer is the real deal because the premise for "Alpha House" is his real life. You still don't have your own bedroom and you are--

SCHUMER: That is true, one day it will happen.

KARL: During the work week, Schumer, the third most powerful Democrat in the Senate, lives with Dick Durbin, the second most powerful Democrat and Congressman George Miller. Altogether in this D.C. row house.

SCHUMER: All right so here it is.

KARL: We got the not so grand tour. Beautiful.

SCHUMER: These are Oscar de la Renta Venetian blinds. Our favorite food, plenty of cold cereal.

KARL: Bread is fresh.

SCHUMER: Yeah, no you feel this. Yeah, I tried it the other night. It's like a rock.

KARL: At least the location of his bed is convenient. Right in the living room.

So I see your bed's made, kind of made.

SCHUMER: In all fairness, I did it for you.

KARL: Yeah. What would an actual reality show based in this house be like?

SCHUMER: We'd be sitting around here, usually in our shorts and tee-shirts. BS-ing.

KARL: Maybe it's a good thing "Alpha House" isn't too realistic. But what would the cast think about flipping it around? Which one of you is going to run for office?

GOODMAN: I've got a record.

KARL: Call it a firm no for now. But maybe the perks will change their mind.

SCHUMER: Cheers, to the good life.

KARL: For "This Week" Jonathan Karl, ABC News, Washington.


STEPHANOPOULOS: That is one big bowl of cereal. Our big thanks to Senator Schumer and the "Alpha House" gang. The show launches on Amazon on November 15th.

And now we honor or fellow Americans who serve and sacrifice. This week the Pentagon released the name of one soldier killed in Afghanistan.

And that is all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. And on this Veteran's Day weekend, we leave you with the World War II memorial.


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