'This Week' Transcript: Sen. Claire McCaskill

ByABC News
April 4, 2014, 12:00 PM
PHOTO: ABC News Contributor and Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, ABC News Contributor and The Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol, and Fusion's "AM Tonight" Alicia Menendez on 'This Week'
ABC News Contributor and Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, ABC News Contributor and The Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol, and Fusion's "AM Tonight" Alicia Menendez on 'This Week'
ABC News

April 6, 2014— -- Below is the rush transcript for "This Week" on April 6, 2014 and it may contain errors.

ANNOUNCER: ABC's This Week. Rampage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He came back with a gun and opened fire.

ANNOUNCER: The moment of attack, the heroes who saved lives. This morning, we're at Fort Hood with breaking details and taking on the critical questions.

Plus, culture of coverup?

MARY BARRA, CEO, GM: I don't have the complete...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is incredibly frustrating.

ANNOUNCER: The head of GM grilled over a massive car defect linked to multiple deaths. Should you feel safe behind the wheel?

And, campaign cash...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Keep our eyes on the prize.

ANNOUNCER: The Supreme Court strikes down limits on donations. Will it protect your freedom of speech or is our democracy now for sale?

From ABC News, This Week with George Stephanopoulos begins now.

RADDATZ: Good morning. I'm Martha Raddatz in Fort Hood, Texas, a tight-knight community reeling from another horrific mass shooting this week, the second in five years.

We'll have complete coverage of the story here shortly, including the latest on the investigation.

But first, as we come on the air, breaking news in the hunt to find that missing Malaysia Air 777. We're learning that an Australian ship may have heard the pingers from flight 370's black boxes just hours ago. Just yesterday, the Chinese reported they, too, were investigating so-called acoustic events.

It's a critical time in the search. The batteries powering those pingers could die today, 30 days after the plane disappeared.

We have two reports this morning beginning with Clayton Sandell in Australia -- Clayton.


That's right, after that Chinese navy ship reported hearing two pulse signals that are consistent with what you'd expect to hear from an airplane's black boxes, the Australians wanted to send their own ship to check it out.

It's called the Ocean Shield and it's carrying underwater search gear that belongs to the U.S. navy, but now that ship which is 350 miles from the Chinese vessel is staying in place, because it has its own lead to chase. They've now heard a third mysterious underwater sound.

Now keep in mind the Australians leading the search here say these are important and encouraging leads, but stress they cannot verify if any of these signals are connected in any way to Malaysia 370.

There's another development this morning, the high priority search area has shifted again, that's because of a new analysis of those last communications transmitted from the plane to a satellite now suggesting the Boeing 777 was going faster than first thought. That would put it going into the ocean very near where the Chinese picked up their signal.

Now a British ship is expected to arrive on the scene early Monday to help determine if this is something or just another false lead.

But right now it is the most promising lead in this search that has now stretched nearly a month -- Martha.

RADDATZ: Thanks, Clayton.

Well, investigators still have found no sign of the jet, they are learning lessons that could prevent another missing plane mystery like this one. Here's ABC's David Curley.


DAVID KERLEY, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Dozens of flights, a flotilla of ships, hundreds of pairs of eyes and still not one piece of debris from the Malaysian 777 has been recovered.

Still, the mystery of flight 370 is already providing lessons, the most obvious how in 2014 can we not know where a jetliner is?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But in a world where our every move seems to be tracked, we cannot let another aircraft simply disappear.

KERLEY: So, lesson number one -- keeping track of aircraft. Should we install GPS transmitters in all commercial aircraft, which would transmit to a satellite where they are every few minutes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's just unacceptable the fact that, you know, you have GPS in a subcompact car on the highway and not on -- you know, on board a commercial aircraft for 300 people.

KERLEY: A delayed FAA next generation air traffic control system would include GPS transmissions, but this morning the Airline Pilots Association is saying it is time now for GPS.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really do think given the galvanizing reality that we have lost an airplane that we have no idea where it is we really do have to retrofit the fleet.

KERLEY: Lesson two, what about those black boxes? This morning, the batteries in those pingers will start fading. Some suggest instead of just keeping all the data on the boxes in the aircraft, why not stream or burst the data to satellites on the aircraft performance as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In many cases, the boxes are not recovered, or when they are recovered they're damaged beyond any repair.

CURLEY: But broadband streaming to a satellite is not cheap.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't have enough satellites up there to be able to take the huge amount of bandwidth. We have 93.000 flights per day. And even if you just cut that in half, that is a tremendous amount of data.

KERLEY: Lesson three -- who is in charge? Currently, the country where the flight crashes, or the flight operator if it's in international waters, heads the investigation. But as the Malaysians have shown with conflicting and the slow release of information not all countries may be up to that task.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it was disabled before. We cannot determine exactly why ACARS has been disabled.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no other way of putting it, quite frankly they have bungled it from the beginning.

KERLEY: So why not create an international investigative body.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's clear that we need that, because the first few hours of these investigations are so critical.

KERLEY: Finally, the fourth lesson, some airlines still appear unskilled at family relations. Chinese relatives of those on board have wailed and protested, then learned their loved ones were lost in a text message.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When families are aggrieved and there's a loss of a loved one or loved ones, you can't leave this to chance, you can't make it up as you go along.

KERLEY: Just four lessons, with so many more in those black boxes on the bottom of the Indian Ocean as their locator signals start to fade.

For This Week, David Kerley, ABC News, Washington.


RADDATZ: And our thanks to David.

Now back at Fort Hood and the latest on the shooting spree that left three soldiers dead and 16 wounded. This Wednesday a memorial service will be held here on post. Meanwhile, investigators are trying to figure out why one soldier went on a rampage.

ABC's Pierre Thomas has been tracking that part of the story -- Pierre.


It increasingly appears this deadly shooting spree was done by a soldier with mental health issues who also may have had a simmering resentment toward the army.


THOMAS: A simple argument, that's all it may have taken to ignite a hail of gunfire that left three soldiers murdered and 16 others wounded.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We believe that the immediate precipitating factor was more likely an escalating argument in his unit area.

THOMAS: Possible source of that dispute, Wednesday Iraq war veteran Ivan Lopez was applying for leave and was allegedly frustrated by a slow moving bureaucracy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was told by the supervisor to wait until tomorrow and come back.

THOMAS: Felix Westbrook (ph) told ABC's Alex Perez about his son Jonathan's near fatal encounter with the suspect. Lopez did leave the office, but suddenly reappeared with a gun, then the shooting began.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From what I was told, the very first person that was hit died and then the gun was turned on my son. And he was hit four times.

THOMAS: Lopez allegedly went on a shooting spree, opening fire in two buildings and from his car while driving on the base. ABC News has learned that the suspect fired dozens of shots before he killed himself.

But why would Lopez be angry about a slow response to a request for time off? His family in Puerto Rico tells ABC News that he had been frustrated that the military only gave him limited time to return home when his mother abruptly died of a heart attack last November.

Sources tell ABC News that frustration, combined with lingering mental health issues, was apparently a lethal mix.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was undergoing a variety of treatment and diagnoses for mental health conditions ranging from depression to anxiety to some sleep disturbance. He was prescribed a number of drugs to address those.


THOMAS: The FBI and the military continued to dissect Lopez's life trying to better understand his state of mind. A frustrated source told me last night a simple disagreement should not spark such a violent outburst. He said it makes no sense. We need to know more -- Martha.

RADDATZ: Thanks, Pierre.

So many questions about what caused this. Was it related to any of the experiences overseas in the military?

The struggles that soldiers face when returning home is an issue I've been covering for years.


RADDATZ: After well over a decade of fighting overseas, the once invisible wounds of war are following service members home. The numbers are staggering with over 130,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans treated for PTSD last year alone.

But post-traumatic stress rarely leads to violence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Depression, anxiety, PTSD, those are kind of on the mild end of the scale. When we have violence associated with mental illness it's usually people who have delusions, paranoia, psychosis.

RADDATZ: But a new survey of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans shows 4 in 10 say they have experienced outbursts of anger related to their military service and more than half say they felt disconnected from civilian life. And an epidemic of suicides has the military's top leaders promising help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can better share information so that the chain of command, as you have said, has the ability to really understand when soldiers are having problems.

RADDATZ: But even awareness can't prevent tragedy. Back in 2009, ABC News visited this combat stress center in Baghdad, set up to aid soldiers suffering from the strains of war.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The great thing is to have a leader bring a soldier, come in, leadership staff, and come in and ask us how that we can help them take care of their soldiers.

RADDATZ: But just days later, one of those soldiers turned his weapon on his own comrades, killing five. This week's shooting at Ford Hood serving as a tragic reminder that even with resources in place, such violent acts can be difficult to prevent.

So what should they do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Army has to take a need. It has to look within itself and focus intensely on taking care of the people it has and give them the resources they need to truly come home from war.


RADDATZ: With me now is a panelist with great insight into all these issues. Joining us is General Peter Chiarelli, the former vice chair of staff of Army, who spent seven years here on this Army post. Nicholas Schmidle, a writer for the New Yorker, who's written so powerfully about post-traumatic stress, and Congressman John Carter, who represents this district with Fort Hood.

General Chiarelli, I want to talk to you first about this, because you dealt so much with posttraumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries, suicides when you were in the Army. This one has to hit hard, and what does it say to you?

CHIARELLI: Well, they all hit hard, and it's a horrible, horrible tragedy. I think even a bigger tragedy would be if the public at large came to the conclusion that everyone who returns from Iraq or Afghanistan, who served in the military, has these issues. We've got to understand that the vast majority of our service men and women have been on multiple deployments, multiple deployments, and returned home unscathed.

RADDATZ: But can you have posttraumatic stress without seeing combat?

CHIARELLI: Of course you can. I mean, we have people in the United States who have posttraumatic stress. It's estimated that 8 percent of the population in the United States will suffer posttraumatic stress at some time. So it's -

RADDATZ: We're talking about Ivan Lopez, certainly as the shooter. Should he be viewed as a wounded warrior?

CHIARELLI: I think you have to. If you really want to get the stigma associated with these problems, we have got to consider these wounds of war, when in fact a large majority of those we're seeing in the service today have served and served on multiple tours.

RADDATZ: Nick Schmidle, you wrote about Chris Kyle, so-called American sniper, who was killed by allegedly by another veteran, who was very troubled. He saw no combat. What lessons do you take from this and your time spent covering that Chris Kyle story?

SCHMIDLE: Couple of things. I mean, I think that the - it is impossible to know, as General Chiarelli was mentioning, exactly what everyone is going through. You can't get into someone else's mind, you can't understand what factors trip them to commit whatever acts.

The second thing, though, is that, you know, these wars are coming to an end, and yet the effects of these wars on the men and women who served perhaps will be seen for decades to come, and I think that that's something that the American public thinks that, OK, there were no casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan during the month of March, the American commitment is over, and it's far from over.

RADDATZ: I want to read something from your piece, by Phil Carter, you quote Phil Carter, whom we just saw in my piece. "This after-war is just beginning, said Carter. He compared this period to the one following Vietnam as Vietnam was winding down. Demand for mental health services went up, homelessness went up. That's when people transitioned, that's when symptoms occur or latent issues manifest, he said. War has a long tail." What do we owe our service members?

SCHMIDLE: Well, I mean, I think that that's - it would be horrific to imagine that you would send a young man or woman into Iraq or Afghanistan at the worst time of combat, ill equipped for war. We would be horrified by that idea, and yet there is a compact, I think, between those who fought and this country. And so we should be equally as horrified that they are ill equipped to come home and transition home as we were that they were ill equipped to fight.

RADDATZ: Congressman Carter, you've seen this happen twice now at Fort Hood. The lessons that he's talking about, and General Chiarelli as well, what are you seeing?

CARTER: I absolutely agree, and General Chiarelli and I talked about this in the past. The issue of the mental health among (ph) service members is critical. And we got two issues that come up in everything, is why, and what can we do. And what can we do is we have to have -- to provide more resources both at the DOD level and at the VA level, and that transition needs to be smooth, because these folks, and Pete is right. You can have posttraumatic stress in an ordinary job. It depends on the level of stress you can carry. Some can carry tons, others can carry none.

RADDATZ: But this soldier was receiving treatment.

CHIARELLI: Well, that's an excellent point. And the point I would like to make is the fact that we have lots of soldiers receiving treatment, and just because we get them into treatment does not mean that we're going to be able to take care of the problem they have, because we just don't know enough. We don't know enough about posttraumatic stress. We don't know enough about traumatic brain injury. We need to mount a national effort to get at this problem, and ensure that we do our research a lot smarter than we've done it in the past.

RADDATZ: And a lot of it is self-reporting. If he didn't report any violent outbursts before, then his mental health workers wouldn't know, correct, Congressman?

CARTER: That's correct. We've had that, we've started working on that issue, way back in'04. Convincing soldiers to report their injuries, including their bad dreams, sleeplessness, fits of terror, whatever. They felt if they showed weakness, they were strong soldiers, and it kind of weakened their image. And it was a real fight. And the hierarchy in the Army did a real strong effort to get it done, and I think it's better. Don't you, General Chiarelli? I think it's better. I think they are stepping up now and saying, I got problems. You can't start without identifying your problem, and it can't be a (inaudible) to identify.

RADDATZ: Just very quickly, Nick, as more troops come home, do you expect more problems?

SCHMIDLE: Inevitably, but they don't have to all be violent. I mean, they are just problems adjusting, and I think the big issue as well is just individuals falling through the cracks. Individuals coming back and having symptoms that don't quite register, that don't qualify them for long-term programs, but that do qualify them for attention they don't get, and this is what happened in the Chris Kyle story as well.

RADDATZ: And again, everyone with mental health issues it not prone to violence. We want to make that point. Thank you so much for joining us today, gentlemen. A great conversation. We'll be back here later in the show, but now let's go to Washington and Jon Karl. Jon.

KARL: Thank you, Martha.

KARL: We turn now to those blistering hearings into why General Motors failed to fix an ignition defect that was linked to at least 13 deaths. Congress put GM's new CEO in the hot seat. One senator blasting the company's culture of cover-up. That senator joins us shortly, but first, ABC's Rebecca Jarvis.


REBECCA JARVIS, ABC CORRESPONDENT: Who knew what and when? So many questions still facing General Motors this week.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They and the American public were failed by a corporate culture that chose to conceal rather than disclose.

JARVIS: Mary Barra, a GM veteran who became its CEO early this year, says she did not learn of the problem until this January, despite warnings dating as far back as 2001.

You claimed that never once did this ever cross your desk in the last decade? What do you say to the families?

MARY BARRA, GM CEO: I was never a part of that process on this issue.

JARVIS: The Senate committee zeroing in on internal GM documents showing the company engineer replaced some of the faulty ignitions in 2006, then lied about it in a deposition.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is criminal deception.

JARVIS: The Department of Justice is investigating whether GM and possibly some of its executives should face criminal charges for ignoring safety issues.

Barra declined to answer specific questions until an internal investigation is complete.

BARRA: And if there were decisions made by individuals that were inappropriate, we will take steps up to and including termination.

JARVIS: GM has recalled 2.6 million cars for ignition problems since February, but many of those cars are still on the road.

For families, the lack of answers is a disappointment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is clear that GM is only concerned with their bottom line and not the safety of our loved ones.

JARVIS: Many are outraged that GM could legally be off the hook for accidents that occurred before its 2009 bankruptcy, though the Justice Department says it is now reexamining those bankruptcy filings for any signs of fraud. For "This Week," Rebecca Jarvis, ABC News, Washington.


KARL: Last night, even SNL took a shot at the GM CEO.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ms. Barra, when did you first find out about the ignition problem?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's part of our investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you don't know when you knew?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am looking into knowing when I first knew about it. But I won't know the results of that knowing until I know for sure.


KARL: All right, the actual senator leading that hearing is with us now, Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, thank you for joining us.

MCCASKILL: Thank you.

KARL: So we heard from GM's CEO, Mary Barra, that she is going to get to the bottom of this with her investigation. You talked about a culture of cover-up. Do you trust her?

MCCASKILL: Well, I think we'll see how the investigation goes. But the facts are pretty clear. You don't need an investigation to understand that they had a defective switch and someone at GM in the engineering department changed that switch and didn't change the part number.

There is no reason to keep the same part number unless you're trying to hide the fact that you've got a defective switch out there that in fact ended up killing a number of people on our highways.

KARL: As you clearly demonstrated in that hearing, this was a coverup, this was an outrage, people died. Is anybody going to go to jail for this?

MCCASKILL: Good question.

You know, we have the Citizen's United case where our Supreme Court said corporations were people. That was hard for some of us to kind of get our arms around. But if, in fact, they are people then there needs to be some criminal accountability depending on what the facts of the investigation show.

I know Justice Department is taking a hard look at all of this including their bankruptcy filings. But here's the thing that really bugs me about what I learned preparing for this hearing. They had a deposition a year ago, almost a year ago, where it was clear this part had been changed out. And this company did nothing between April of last year and January and February of this year. What were they doing for all those months? Why didn't they report this to the federal regulators?

The notion that somehow the executive offices had no idea that these lawyers and engineers had dropped a bombshell on them frankly just strains believability.

KARL: Well, let me ask you about those government regulators and those executive offices. Of course government regulators knew about this and for various degree going back several years. And remember, GM was a wholly owned subsidiary of the United States government following the bailout.

What is the government, the U.S. government responsibility for what happened here?

MCCASKILL: Well, I think a lot of this depends on when the knowledge that we know the engineers had was in fact transferred up the chain.

And that's what this -- these investigations will show.

It is possible that these engineers were so interested in covering themselves, especially this Mr. Ray DeGiorgio who perjured himself a number of times in his deposition -- he lied over and over again. Because afterwards, we found the document where he signed off on the changes, a document which was never given to the lawyers in that case, by the way.

So when did that information that was in the engineering sector move to the executive level of General Motors. That's what we don't know. That's what Mary Barra refused to talk about until the investigation is complete. That's why her -- I put her on the spot and said will you come back in front of this committee after this investigation is over. And she committed on the record that she would.

KARL: Very quick question, under the bankruptcy agreement, GM has immunity from any lawsuits before 2009. Is congress going to force them to compensate these victims?

MCCASKILL: Well, I think this is a real moment of truth for General Motors. They've tried to lawyer up and play whack-a-mole with these lawsuits and terrible things have happened. Now it's time for them to come clean, be transparent and most of all make all victims whole no matter when this deadly ignition caused heartbreak in their families.

KARL: All right, Senator Claire McCaskill, thank you for joining us.

MCCASKILL: Thank you.

KARL: Coming up, the Supreme Court's ruling on campaign cash and one justice's stark warning about what it could unleash.

Plus, the tech CEO forced out of his job because of his views on gay marriage.

But next, new outbreaks of measles and mumps are parents who don't vaccinate their children to blame. Back in just two minutes.

KARL: Now our closer look at an alarming number of measles and mumps outbreaks nationwide in schools from New York to California where more than 16,000 children entered kindergarten without measles vaccinations, that's up 15 percent from last year and more than double the number six years ago.

So are outbreaks sparked by parents choosing not to have their children vaccinated? Here's ABC's Dr. Richard Besser.


RICHARD BESSER, ABC NEWS MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Your doctor probably wouldn't recognize this disease, neither would you. But this rash has made a comeback: measles.

I think when I was here 15 years ago we weren't talking about measles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. And you know most residents who are training have never seen measles.

BESSER: A disease we thought was eliminated in the U.S., 51 cases so far this year here in California. Last year at this time, just four. Measles in on the rise.

Dr. Mark Sawyer (ph) has prepared a negative pressure room here in the ER at Rady Children's Hospital to isolate potential measles cases.

DR. MARK SAWYER (PH), RADY CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: So this machine cycles air and puts it through a special filter which takes out any infectious agent.

BESSER: And he's bracing for more, because an increasing number of parents won't vaccinate their children, or choose to delay vaccines past the recommended ages.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're up to 4.5 percent of our children at kindergarten age who have not had all their vaccines.

BESSER: That's a lot of kids.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's getting up there.

BESSER: And those kids are primarily from more affluent communities like Orange County, home to the Caircos (ph) and their 2-year-old twins who haven't had their measles shot.

If you think about your philosophy, your approach to vaccinations, sum it up for me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the risk, what's the reward? Right now I find them to be very low risk of contracting measles.

BESSER: An increasing number of parents believe that there are just too many shots all at once. The Caircos (ph) girls have had some vaccines, but their parents are holding off on measles until just before they start kindergarten.

Parents like them are counting on the fact that most kids get the shots, giving protection to the rest.

Hillary Chambers has something to say to those parents.

HILLARY CHAMBERS, MOTHER: That's not fair to everybody else. You're relying on everybody else to do it for you.

BESSER: Outbreaks occur when travelers bring measles in from other parts of the world where the disease is more common.

During a 2008 measles outbreak in San Diego, Hillary's daughter was exposed to a child who got measles from another unvaccinated child. Her daughter had to be quarantined for 21 days. This incredibly infectious virus often encounters an unvaccinated child in a pediatrician's waiting room.

Not in Dr. Stewart Cohen's (ph) waiting room. He won't accept families who don't want vaccines into his practice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I'm drawing a line in the sand.

BESSER: Isn't it a parent's right to vaccinate their child or not vaccinate their child?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you send your teen out to drive a car without wearing a seat belt, would you go out on a boating trip with your family and decide who wants to wear life jackets and who doesn't? That's like playing Russian Roulette, you don't know if that's going to be the 1 in a 1,000 child that's going to die from that illness.


KARL: Dr. Besser is here along with Michael Specter from the New Yorker, author of "Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planets, and Threatens Our Life."

Dr. Besser, I want to start with you. This is a fascinating dilemma. Two rights, two values here; one individual rights and the right of the community for public health.

So my question to you is, is the public health concern so overwhelming that parents should be forced to vaccinate their children?

BESSER: Well, you know, I think it is. If you look at the impact -- impacts in public health there's been nothing that has equaled that of a vaccination. And the problem we have is that this excessive vaccination programs means that no one is seeing these diseases. And so they don't understand what can happen if we move back.

I think if you want to send your kid to public school, there should be no ifs, ands or buts about it, your child has to be vaccinated.

KARL: But how do you do that? How do you force somebody to stick a needle in their kids -- how do you do that.

MICHAEL SPECTER, NEW YORKER: I don't think we will be able to force people, and that's the problem. I agree with Dr. Besser, but the fact of the matter is we're not going to be able to force people to stick needles in their kids arms. And so we need to do a much better, more powerful job of educating to them, because they think about risk in the wrong way, people think about risk of something happening. They do not think about the risks of what might happen if they don't do this vaccine.

And those risks are great and they're getting greater.KARL: And you would actually -- you would say, if you don't have the vaccine, you can't go to public school.

BESSER: I -- I think that's right. You know, the...

KARL: But...

BESSER: -- the numbers, in terms of under-vaccination is about 4 percent, is not very great. Most people are doing the right thing, vaccinating on time.

But you get these pockets where in some of these -- these schools in San Diego, 20 percent of the kids are -- are not up to date in their vaccines. That's a ticking time bomb.


KARL: OK, so give me the profile.

Who are the people that are opting out and not vaccinating their kids?

SPECTER: I'm sorry to say they're people who are highly well educated, live near me in the people's republic of Park Slope in Brooklyn, who think that their education status somehow exempts them from these problems that other people have.

And infectious diseases are infectious to everyone. Viruses don't choose who to infect. And...

KARL: They basically think they're smarter than the doctors, as (INAUDIBLE)...

SPECTER: Well, I think they feel that the risk is so low that it's not worth worrying about and there are other things that are worth worrying about more. And they're wrong about that. They're just wrong.

BESSER: You know, I -- I ran the training program in San Diego, in that hospital that we saw. And the residents, the doctors being trained haven't seen these diseases either.


BESSER: And so they're -- they're often willing to give in to a parent who says I'm worried, I don't want that shot in my child. And that's part of the problem.

KARL: Fascinating. Well, a lot more to talk about this in the future.

Dr. Besser and Michael Specter, thank you for joining us.

Coming up in just two minutes, the Supreme Court's ruling on campaign cash -- will it usher in a new era of big money politics?

And the president takes a victory lap after the ObamaCare sign-up surge.

But what is the real story behind the numbers?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trailblazing...



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I was president -- and I won't be, let's be honest -- the first thing I would do, I would run to the White House. I'd demand to see all the classified files on the UFOs.

Did you do that?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we were visited some day, I wouldn't be surprised. I just hope that, uh, it's not like "Independence Day."



KARL: All right, Bill Clinton with Jimmy Kimmel this week.

The roundtable is here.

Former House speaker and CNN's "Crossfire" co-host, Newt Gingrich; Democratic strategist Donna Brazile; Bill Kristol, editor of "The Weekly Standard"; and my friend, Alicia Menendez, host of "A.M. Tonight" on our sister network, Fusion.

Thank you all for joining us.

I want to start with the big Supreme Court decision on campaign finance, erasing the overall limits on how much people can give during a campaign cycle.

Donna, I know you think this is a really big deal.

Tell me why.

DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: First of all, if you think money -- if you think money is speech and corporations are people and the wealthiest 1 percent are a persecuted minority in this country, then you will love this Supreme Court...

KARL: I guess you don't hold those views?

BRAZILE: No, I don't.

I think it's a lousy decision for several reasons.

One, the aggregate amount of money that wealthy individuals can give is now unlimited, pretty much. This -- this allows people who basically can tell donors -- and I'm sure the speaker can remember these days -- or those days back in the past, when people said, oh, I've maxed out.

Well, now, you don't have to max out. You can continue to give and give and give to as many candidates as you want. You still have an overall limit as to how much you can give, but the aggregate amount has changed.

KARL: Well, Mr. Speaker, the actual limits, as Donna points out, are there.

I mean is this really that big a deal?

I remember you used to say...


KARL: -- I only had one billionaire supporting my campaign. Romney had a dozen.

But what...


KARL: -- what...


KARL: -- or 40.


KARL: A few dozen.

I mean how -- how big a deal do you think it is?

GINGRICH: It's a very big deal, first of all, because it does mean people can now give to scores of campaigns. So you're going to see a lot more financing.

But it's part of a continuum that started a long time ago when they said that speech included money, which was the original decision. That you -- you as a billionaire or a millionaire could go out and spend your own money...

KARL: Yes, but you...


KARL: -- do you buy that?

I mean this is -- I mean...


GINGRICH: -- uses money. I mean every network loves the idea that speech is not money, because then they dominate totally.

The fact is, the "New York Times" editorializes all day, every day, and doesn't count any of what it does as -- as contribution.

So speech matter.

But what's happened is you've gone from that original decision to the Citizens United, which said, in effect, that corporations could give and created super PACs. Now you've said they're unlimited.

The next step is the one Clarence Thomas, Justice Clarence Thomas cited -- candidates should be allowed to take unlimited amounts of money from anybody. And you would, overnight, equalize the middle class and the rich.

The problem today is Bloomberg can spend an extraordinary amount of money buying -- the mayor of New York...

KARL: So this is a middle class play to allow people to give as much money without any limits?


BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": Well, no, all the donors I know hate this decision, of course, because they -- this used to be a very good excuse to say to a candidate, ooh, I'm maxing out, I just can't help your campaign.

It's good for the campaigns to get more money relative to the super PACs, so this decision will help it in that respect.

But I think it's constitutionally correct. I think what it brings home for me is the Supreme Court will be a big issue in 2016. We've all focused...

KARL: A 5-4 decision.

KRISTOL: Well, think how many there have been, though.

KARL: Yes.

KRISTOL: ObamaCare, same-sex marriage...

KARL: Yes.

KRISTOL: Now this. There could be decisions on Obama -- and more ObamaCare decisions coming, incidentally, I think, which will -- which could be interesting.

So we were all focused on foreign policy and ObamaCare and domestic issues...

KARL: The Supreme Court...

KRISTOL: The Supreme Court, the next president will shape the decision of the Supreme Court.

ALICIA MENENDEZ, HOST "A.M. TONIGHT": And I think what the speaker said is the issue. This is a continuum. And here you have the Supreme Court coming down and basically giving you a very narrow definition of corruption, which is quid pro quo, whereas all of the liberal justices are saying let's take a broader look at corruption.

Does having money in the system...

KARL: Corrupt the system?

MENENDEZ: -- corrupt the actual system?

KARL: And five of the justices...

MENENDEZ: And that then...

KARL: -- say no.

MENENDEZ: Yes. And then that opens the door to a variety of other cases that we're going to see about limits to individual candidates, about limits to political parties. And once you've opened that door, it becomes much harder to close it.

KARL: So...


KARL: -- so, Donna, I wanted to ask you, "The New York Times" reported on Friday...


KARL: -- that Nancy Pelosi's fundraisers are already out in force trying to take advantage of this ruling, hitting up donors who have maxed out to say give more.

Isn't there some hypocrisy on the Democratic side on this?

BRAZILE: Well...

KARL: I mean you guys are going to jump right into this.

BRAZILE: Look, I've always been for limitations with regard to campaign finance. And so I mean I'm sure there are Democrats who are going to take advantage of it, just like there are Republicans.

If you look at the top 100 -- 1,000 donors from 2012, over 650 were Republicans.

So they're going to probably get more money out of this, but the Democrats are going to try to even the game, so to speak.

KARL: OK, now two of the most high profile big donors are going big this week, we have learned, with a multi-million dollar ad campaign hitting vulnerable Democrats in the Senate.

Here is an exclusive look, a first look, at a new ad by a group funded by Charles and David Koch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The hypocrisy is shocking. Udall thought campaign cash, health insurance companies got billions of taxpayer dollars and Colorado families are paying the price. Now, Udall says...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would do it again. Yes, I would do it again.


KARL: So if there was any doubt, this erases it. The big issue is still, the number one issue, the dominant issue for Republicans in this campaign is going to be ObamaCare.

But Bill, I've got to ask you, I mean you've got to give the president a little bit of credit here, right?

7.1 million sign-ups after that disastrous start. They hit their -- they hit their number. They went past their number.

KRISTOL: The Rand Corporation says about 800,000 of those people were previously uninsured. Eight hundred thousand out of seven million, the huge bulk of them previously insured.

So big deal. He moved people from insurance plans they liked to -- forced them into the exchanges. That's like saying you've got to give the Soviet Union a lot of credit, 200 million people bought bread in their grocery stories. If it's the only place you can buy health insurance, they're going to get people to buy health insurance there.

The debate is not over. The president tried to say this week, oh, the debate is over. No way. The Obamacare debate is real.

But, you know, on that ad, which I like, actually, that's a response to the ads attacking the Kochs, obviously. But it's also an attempt to tell Republicans, you do not -- don't let them tie you into the insurance companies.

That has been -- the best Democratic talking point in response to the failure of Obamacare is, the Republicans want to go back to the old system, the pre-Obamacare. And there I think they need to have an alternative to answer that. And Republicans in the pocket of the insurance companies.

Those ads say, no, Democrats actually -- the Obama administration worked with the insurance companies…


KRISTOL: … to write this bill.

MENENDEZ: But let's imagine an alternative reality where he had not pulled that rabbit out of that hat, and crossed that 7 million threshold, we would all be sitting here talking about how this was a big disaster and was a failure.

So of course he's going to spike the ball on this. He has to. I think it's more interesting that you have congressional Democrats not doing the same, wanting to see, A, how many of these people were not previously insured, wanting to see how many of them actually come through and pay their premiums, especially because we have focused on this number when what really matters is what this risk pool looks like.

How many young and healthy…

KARL: And what's your sense? How many young people…


MENENDEZ: I think they're going to get…


MENENDEZ: We do not know the numbers, but from the data that we do know, it will be close to 30 percent, which is sort of on par with where Romneycare was when it came to these young healthy people that you need in the risk pool in order to balance out those who need care, bring the rates down for 2015.

KARL: OK. Let's move now, abrupt turn to Afghanistan where historic day, voters are making a critical decision this weekend. Who will replace President Hamid Karzai? ABC's Muhammad Lila is tracking the latest from Kabul -- Muhammad.

MUHAMMAD LILA, ABC CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Jon. And a historic moment here in Afghanistan. Now there were fears of violence, especially after two Western female journalists were attacked just the day before the election.

But in the end, this was a huge defeat for the Taliban because, quite simply, despite their threats, they couldn't stop this election from going forward. Key in all of this for the United States, unlike President Hamid Karzai, the three leading candidates all say they want American troops to stay in this country.

Just a short time ago, we spoke with Ashraf Ghani, who many say is the frontrunner.


LILA: Would American troops be welcome in Afghanistan?

ASHRAF GHANI AHMADZAI, AFGHAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They would. The overwhelming number of them are going to be helping train and equip Afghans.


LILA: And right now the vote counting is under way, a process that could take weeks. So it could be quite some time before we finally find out who the next Afghan president is -- Jon.

KARL: Thanks, Muhammad.

Now to the other big foreign policy story this week, Secretary of State John Kerry's sharp dial-back on the Mideast peace process. Check him out with Martha Raddatz here three months ago versus what he is saying now.


JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Hopefully the leaders will seize this moment and at least move the balls forward somewhat.

There are limits to the amount of time and effort that the United States can spend if the parties themselves are unwilling to take constructive steps in order to be able to move forward.


KARL: It sounds like he is basically declaring defeat.

GINGRICH: You know, this is one of the goofiest things historians will someday record. You have the leader of the Palestinian organization saying in Arabic, we're never going to recognize a Jewish state, period.

Now you couldn't have it clearer. There is no peace process. There has not been a peace process ever. The core movement is committed to the destruction of Israel. Hamas is committed to the destruction of Israel.

And yet Western diplomats have this passion, this endless need, this masochism, and it's bipartisan. Please let me come over…

KARL: Well, I mean, I seem to recall quite an effort even under both president Bushes.

GINGRICH: As I just said, yes. It's a bipartisan State Department-led fanaticism with allowing people to beat on you so you can come back and say what you just saw, which is, if this was a comedy show, Kerry would win an award for a comedic performance.

Just put those two things back to back. This is the big moment, we're here forever. Three months, three months in history, three months later, well, we have limited patience.

Well, the Middle East has unlimited patience. And that means people with limited patience lose.

KARL: So, Donna, was there a little bit of a White House pullback on this? I mean, we looked at this, John Kerry has been on the road 169 days as secretary of state. Fifty-four of those days have been in the Middle East.

BRAZILE: Well, because I think the White House, like previous White Houses, their administrations, they're trying to achieve a goal that is, you know, the speaker just said, it's very difficult, very tough.

If you have one side that will not give up its demands -- although Israel has given up land, they've released prisoners, you know, Mr. Abbas, you know, he's like, no, I'll go to these international organizations, I'll get recognized.

The only way he's going to get -- the only way that there will be a two-state solution is if the Palestinians come to the table and deal with the Israelis. And if they won't do that, then it's tough to get a two-state solution.

But I applaud the administration, and I applaud Secretary Kerry for trying.

KARL: And quickly, Bill, this is the end of the peace process, I mean…

KRISTOL: It's like a zombie, it just keeps coming back, because American administrations like the idea. They're obsessed with the notion that if only the Israelis and Palestinians would work out their problems on a few square miles of the West Bank, where, incidentally, nothing much has happened, where it's totally quiet, that then they don't have to focus on where the -- where 150,000 people are getting killed, like in Syria, where Assad is still in power.

KARL: All right. Coming up, the latest in the culture wars. But first, it is time for our "Powerhouse Puzzler." We all saw those paintings by former President George W. Bush unveiled this week. But he isn't the only commander-in-chief with a knack for painting.

So here is the question. And it's a visual one. Which 20th Century president painted this portrait of George Washington? Bring it up. Not bad. In just two minutes we'll be back to see if our "Roundtable" can guess which president painted that picture.


KARL: So which 20th Century president painted this painting? Let's see who knows their political art history, Speaker Gingrich.


KARL: Donna.

Who is Eisenhower?

KRISTOL: Well, Ike. But I should say that Eisenhower's name is on this…


KARL: That's cheating!


KARL: That was Dwight D. Eisenhower. And I'm glad we gave you the signed portrait to look at. So the answer obviously is Eisenhower, who to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, quote: "I've had no instruction, have no talent, and certainly no justification for covering up nice white canvas with the kind of the daubs that seem to constantly spring from my brushes. Nevertheless, I like it tremendously."

He was a painter, just like George W. Bush.

Back with the latest front in the culture wars. And trailblazing ballet star Misty Copeland in just 60 seconds.


KARL: President Lyndon Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act 50 years ago. President Obama will mark the anniversary this week. Now we shine our Sunday spotlight on an African-American trailblazer. Misty Copeland is set to become a breakout ballet star, one of the only elite black ballerinas. And now she's wondering why there aren't more like here. Here's Nightline and GMA Weekend anchor Dan Harris.


DAN HARRIS, NIGHTLINE ANCHOR: Two surprising things to know about Misty Copeland, who is a soloist at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, first her day in this supposedly dainty, gentile world is phenomenally rigorous.

There are professional athletes who probably couldn't handle your day.

MISTY COPELAND, BALLERINA: Yeah. It takes more strength than a lot of athletes put in.

HARRIS: The second surprise: how she rose to the top of this elite art form.

COPELAND: I had no real direction, no real motivation to become anything.

HARRIS: Copeland led an itinerant, impoverished childhood in the Los Angeles area along with her siblings and single mom.

COPELAND: We were pretty much homeless and we were living in a motel trying to scrape up enough money just to go to the corner store and get like Cup 'o Noddle soup to eat.

It was probably just the worst time in my childhood when ballet found me.

HARRIS: More specifically, ballet teacher Cindy Bradley, who discovered Misty at age 13 at this Boys and Girls Club.

COPELAND: Having someone believe in me is why I think I dove into it.

HARRIS: Incredibly, just four years after her first class, Misty was accepted by one of the top ballet companies in the world, but she would then face an even larger struggle.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't wait, she's back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course, she's back.

HARRIS: No, not Black Swan style scheming, but instead something more subtle.

How often to you run across African-American or other minority ballerinas?

COPELAND: When it comes to classical ballet? You just don't see it.

HARRIS: And classical ballet, elite ballerinas, are virtually always white.

COPELAND: People don't want to break this tradition of what they think the ideal image is of a ballerina.

HARRIS: For a decade, Copeland was the only black ballerina at ABT and still today there are none at the highest level, the position of principal ballerina, Copeland's fervent dream.

Here we are in America with a black president and this little world is so tough to crack.

COPELAND: It's really hard. The classical ballet world is so far behind.

HARRIS: Have you ever encountered overt racism?

COPELAND: Not so much myself, but to hear from a 7-year-old African American girl being told that, you know, maybe you shouldn't be in this ballet class because you won't have a career.

HARRIS: He is hoping to change that with a new ABT program to recruit diverse students. And as an emerging star, she's a powerful symbol as well. You can see her dancing with Prince or TLC.

COPELAND: You're going to do a lunge, and you're going to hold your arm out.

HARRIS: Even with an uncoordinated television reporter.

I want you to know that I'm doing all the hard work here.

Are you ever up on stage thinking, how did I get here?

COPELAND: It's crazy, but then I have to remember all the hard work that went into those years to get here, but I do often think of that.

HARRIS: And she's not done yet.

This Week, Dan harris, ABC News, New York.


KARL: A big thanks to Misty and Dan. Check out and excerpt of Misty Copeland's new book "Life in Motion" on ABCNews.com/ThisWeek.

Now the tech CEO forced out of his job over his stance on Gay marriage. Brendan Eich, who ran Mozilla, maker of the popular Firefox web browser stepped down after the uproar over a $1,000 donation he gave in 2008 to a group supporting an anti-gay marriage campaign.

So, we saw Andrew Sullivan, influential blogger, one of the earlier advocates of gay marriage, came out strongly against all this, calling it McCarthyism. Andrew writing, he will now -- will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not stocks? If this is the gay rights movement today, then count me out.

Interesting to me there, Speaker Gingrich, is Andrew Sullivan sounded a little bit like you on this.

GINGRICH: Yeah, I thought his entire article, in fact, was very strong. The people ought to recognize, if you're a young faculty member in a lot of places if you're a young member of a news department and you have the wrong views, meaning conservative, you have no career. This is just the most open, blatant example of the new fascism, which says if you don't agree with us 100 percent we have the right to punish you. Unless you're like Hillary and like Barack Obama and you recant.

So, they both had the same view in 2008 as he did.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But there's a difference between actively campaigning to define marriage as being between one man and one woman and not being a supporter of marriage.

GINGRICH: And so you should lose your job, you should lose your job if you have a different view.

BRAZILE: He voluntarily stepped aside.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I'm simply saying that there is a distinction between where President Obama and Hillary Clinton were on this issue...

KARL: They weren't financing that referendum, to be clear.

But where would you draw the line? I mean, what of his came out against interracial marriage? Would that be?

GINGRICH: I think the question you ought to ask yourself is how -- do you want to live in an open, tolerant society or to you have to impose your views at the cost of people's jobs? You have to, for example, bribe the Catholics out of having an adoption service in Massachusetts because they actually insist on giving only to heterosexual couples.

BRAZILE: Do you forget that today's -- some people can still be fired because they're gay on the job. And that's why it's important...

GINGRICH: And now they can be...

BRAZILE: ...we have fair standards. He stepped aside. He voluntarily stepped...

GINGRICH: He was pressured by public campaign and so it's not voluntary. This was over pressure.

BRAZILE: But I do agree with Andrew Sullivan that we have to, you know, be very careful that we are not practicing a new McCarthyism.

KARL: All right, on that note, we are unfortunately out of time. Martha Raddatz will be back in just a minute.


RADDATZ: Back now at Fort Hood.

We honor our fellow Americans who serve and sacrifice overseas. This week, the Pentagon released the name of one soldier killed in Afghanistan.

And before we go, a final note, we'd been planning for awhile to be at Fort Hood today for a very different reason, the 10 year anniversary of a battle in Sadr City that I covered throughout the decade. Eight soldiers from Fort Hood were killed, emotions pouring out at the memorial service we attended remembering the incredible bravery and sacrifice.

We'll tell you more about that in an upcoming broadcast.

But it is something very different when a soldier is killed on our nation's soil at his own base. And now this intensely tight-knit community has seen it happen again.

We leave you with images from America's largest army post in mourning. We'll see you next week.


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