November 16, 2014 — -- Below is the rush transcript of "This Week" on November 16th, 2014. It may contain errors.
ANNOUNCER: Right now on ABC's This Week, breaking overnight: ISIS claims it has executed another American hostage. We have team coverage of the horrific new videotape and what it means in the battle against a brutal terror group.
Ferguson on edge again. Brand new images of office Darren Wilson hours after the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. A grand jury decision now days away. What the new video reveals. How will the community react?
Immigration showdown: the president vowing to act on his own. How far will he go?
And 60 days away: a top Hillary ally says her 2016 decision is coming soon. From ABC News, This Week with George Stephanopoulos begins now.
MARTHA RADDATZ, HOST: Good morning. I'm Martha Raddatz and breaking right now it has apparently happened again: a third American murdered by ISIS. In a disturbing and graphic tape released just hours ago, the terror group claims it beheaded 26-year-old Peter Kassig, a former army Ranger from Indiana captured while working with an aid group in Syria.
Chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross joins us now with the latest. Good morning, Brian.
BRIAN ROSS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Martha.
U.S. intelligence officials are working at this hour to formally authenticate that video, but the gruesome images posted by ISIS leave little doubt about what happened.
ROSS: A former U.S. soldier in Iraq, Kassig went back to the Mideast to Syria as an aid worker featured two years ago by CNN.
PETER KASSIG, FRM. U.S. ARMY RANGER: We each get one life and that's it. You get one shot at this.
ROSS: During captivity, Kassig converted to Islam and changed his name from Peter to Abdul-Rahman.
From their home in Indiana, his parents Paula and Ed Kassig launched a campaign, pleading for their son to be set free.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We implore those who are holding you to show mercy and use their power to let you go.
But with this morning's video, it was clear there would be no mercy. The 16 minute propaganda production first showed the mass beheadings of 16 Syrian soldiers, the ISIS fighters actually appearing unmasked.
And then in the last two minutes, the same masked man with a British accent seen in previous execution videos appears with Kassig's severed head at his feet.
He claims he is in the Syrian city of Dabiq and addressed President Obama saying we are burying the first American crusader in Dabiq, eagerly waiting for the remainder of your armies to arrive.
Kassig was captured in October of last year. In a letter smuggled out by a fellow prisoner, Kassig wrote this to his parents, "if I do die, I figure that at least you and I can seek refuge and comfort in knowing that I went out as a result of trying to alleviate suffering and helping those in need."
ROSS: Kassig's parents only learned of the video in the last few hours and told us this morning they are waiting for government confirmation before they say anything. The White House says if confirmed we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American, Martha.
RADDATZ: As we all are. Thanks, Brian.
Let's bring in Matt Olsen who is the director of the National Counterterrorism Center until just this past September.
What stands out in this tape to you? It does seem different in several ways.
MATT OLSEN, FRM. DIRECTOR, NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER: The biggest difference, Martha, is that we don't have what appears to be Peter Kassig speaking on the tape. And he's not shown alive as the other hostages who were executed.
RADDATZ: What does that tell you?
OLSEN: Well, it's hard to say right now. It's possible, of course, that he wouldn't cooperate and speak on the video. But, again at this point right now what's happening inside the government is that analysts in the intelligence community are looking very closely at this tape to determine whether it's authentic and to really examine every detail to see what we can learn.
RADDATZ: And it seems like there is more detail on this tape where the executioner is standing in a city and that you could tell more from this tape, but it's also bolder. It's very much in your face about that.
OLSEN: Yeah, a couple of things.
First, we don't know when the tape was made. And again that's one of the things that analysts are going to be looking at, certainly look at right now as we speak and through the day.
There are details that can be reviewed.
In terms of the boldness of the tape, Martha, it does have threats -- again threats to our personnel, American soldiers in Iraq as well as...
RADDATZ: In fact, it says we will slaughter your soldiers and then begin to slaughter your people on the streets. Are they capable of coming to the homeland?
OLSEN: We've seen this before a couple of times now from ISIS in retaliation for what we're doing sort of vague threats like take this to the west or slaughter your people as it says in the tape on your streets.
You know, short answer to your question is no, not on any sort of significant scale. They -- we do have concerns that they're capable of small-scale attacks...
RADDATZ: Or inspiring people to carry it out who already live here.
OLSEN: Exactly, inspiring people through this type of propaganda, perhaps people who are mentally ill or deranged finding this to be somehow an attractive...
RADDATZ: And just quickly, Matt, it does appear to be the same British executioner. Do we know who he is? And does this put more pressure on the U.S. and others identifying him so he becomes an international fugitive?
OLSEN: Well, he does have that British accent. It does seem to be the same person. And, you know, obviously inside the government working very hard to exactly identify him in anything we can learn about him.
RADDATZ: OK, thanks very much for joining us, Matt.
OLSEN: Now the impact of these new developments on the battle against the jihadist army. Plus, President Obama's top military adviser has just visited Baghdad. ABC's Alex Marquardt is tracking it all from the region.
Good morning, Alex.
ALEX MARQUARDT, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Martha.
In an unannounced visit to Iraq this weekend, a top U.S. general Martin Dempsey said that the tide is starting to turn in the fight against ISIS, but said it will still take several years. Dempsey has said that the three month U.S. air campaign has shown that ISIS is not an unstoppable 10-foot tall force, but rather what he called a bunch of midgets running around with a really radical ideology.
But Dempsey's visit came as the U.S. is looking to double the number of its forces on the ground in Iraq to more than 3,000.
The more than 900 U.S.-led airstrikes have had some success in helping slow the advances of ISIS, but have not really diminished the vast territory that the group still controls in Iraq and Syria.
ISIS attacks have continued unabated. And nowhere has that been more plain to see than in the northern city of Kobani which has been besieged by ISIS for two months amid almost daily U.S.-led airstrikes.
The president has said repeatedly that the goal of the U.S.-led coalition is to degrade and destroy ISIS, but we're a long way from that becoming a reality -- Martha.
RADDATZ: Thanks, Alex.
RADDATZ: More on this now from our contributor Steve Ganyard, former Marine Corps. colonel and State Department official and former Army Lieutenant General Daniel Bulger who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He's just written a new book called "Why We Lost."
General Bulger I want to start with you. You have a rather startling statement in your book. You begin by saying, "I am a United States army general and I lost the global war on terrorism."
LT. GENERAL DANIEL BULGER, (RET.) U.S. ARMY: Tough words, but true words. And Martha, all I would say is what we're seeing with ISIS, the death of Peter Kassig at their hands, it's a reminder that we didn't do this first phase right in Iraq from '03 to '11 and Afghanistan today.
We've got to get this next phase right.
RADDATZ: And how do you do that? What lessons have you learned from your prior service.
BULGER: The biggest lesson is this fight against insurgents has got to be carried by the local people with our help. We can't do it for them. Putting 100,000 Americans in those countries doesn't work, results and casualties, it actually emboldens them. You heard ISIS say we want your soldiers to come here. We shouldn't give them that.
What we should do is let the Iraqis carry the fight and we help them.
RADDATZ: But how do the Iraqis carry the fight if they haven't done it already, Steve Ganyard?
STEVE GANYARD, FRM. MARINE CORPS. COLONEL: That's the difficulty. We spent hundreds of millions of dollars and a decade trying to teach the Iraqis how to do this on their own. So what we're doing now is probably just a band-aid fix.
But going back to the lessons learned, you know, somebody said once that it's not lessons learned, it's lessons indicated. It's how well we internalize it, how well we institutionalize these lessons.
ISIS is a totally different animal. It's not al Qaeda, it's not the Taliban, it is something very, very different. So, it's the judgment of the past 13 years of war that will guide us now
RADDATZ: Steve, I'm just going to go back to some things you've said to us in the past, which is ISIS didn't want territory, ISIS didn't want the homeland and yet now they say they do.
GANYARD: Well, it's easy to scare the American people in an attempt to try and keep us away from the places that they want to take over. So, if we look again at ISIS as something very, very different, something that wants to create a caliphate, something that has the ability to do the operational small unit tactics. It's a very, very different threat and it's something that we have to address in a different way.
RADDATZ: And General Bulger, today we're hearing some, including people in uniform for a more robust ground force. You say only another surge can win the fight against this dire threat. Really? If insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, I think we're there.
BULGER: Yeah, absolutely not a U.S. troop surge. Help them with air power, help the Iraqis with intelligence. You know, Steve is exactly right, it takes a long time to build an effective military. The Iraqis aren't going to be there next week or next year and President Obama, General Dempsey are warning us of that, this is a multi-year effort and we're going to have to just stick with it. But keep it limited.
RADDATZ: And General Bulger, I want to ask you this, you say you made mistakes. You didn't speak up during your time in Iraq and Afghanistan. What advice would you give to military officers right now, senior officers who may not agree with this strategy, who may not agree with what's happening.
BULGER: Better say something now before we lose a bunch more lives and fail in another mission.
RADDATZ: And, Steve, just some final thoughts. One of the things is the military is action-oriented and they want to solve a problem. What should we be doing now? Staying back? Is there time to just sit back?
GANYARD: The military -- the people who serve in the military are goal-oriented. They're always going to tell you we can find a way to do this. But if war is a continuation of politics by other means, it's up to the commander-in-chief to set the strategy.
As Al telling, we had General Dempsey, is in Iraq right now. He's going to come home tomorrow. He's going to give the president his personal, professional advice. We also have the Hill for the first time since 9/11 debating the laws that govern the war on terror.
So we've got to get away from these bumper sticker strategies of war on terror, no boots on the ground. And the president has a bipartisan opportunity here to reassess that strategy.
RADDATZ: Thanks very much to both of you. Really interesting comments.
Now to that new video in the Ferguson investigation, a tape showing officer Darren Wilson just hours after the shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown. Its release coming days before the grand jury is set to decide if Wilson will face charges.
ABC's senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas now on the tape and the critical questions this case has sparked.
PIERRE THOMAS, ABC SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the first time we see Officer Wilson in the moments not long after he shot Michael Brown. Surveillance video obtained by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch shows Wilson en route to the hospital, and police radio dispatch is provided to the newspaper chronicles some of that fateful day.
We hear Wilson, Unit 21, offering to help with a call.
OFFICER DARREN WILSON: 21 to 25 or 22, you guys need me?
THOMAS: Then we hear officers at the scene of the shooting where Brown lay dead in the street.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get us several more units over here. There's going to be a problem.
THOMAS: Those words prophetic as weeks of unrest unfolded, reigniting long-standing tensions over race and policing. It's a recurring theme.
An officer smashing through a car window, Tasing a father as his children record the video from the backseat. A South Carolina man shot after reaching for his wallet at the instruction of the police officer who pulled him over.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did you -- why did you shoot me?
THOMAS: Allegations of excessive force. Disturbing images that help explain why Ferguson...
CROWD: Don't shoot, hands up!
THOMAS: ... has sparked so much frustration among many African-Americans. They ask, why did seemingly routine encounters escalate so dramatically?
But on the other side of the spectrum, there are some uncomfortable facts that may be influencing how some police respond to blacks. Without question, African-American males are disproportionately represented in crime, both as assailants and as victims.
More than 4,300 blacks were arrested for homicide last year, compared to nearly 3,800 whites, even though blacks are the minority.
CHARLES RAMSEY, PHILADELPHIA POLICE CHIEF: You listen to radio call after radio call, description of offender after description of offender, and you hear it over and over and over again.
THOMAS (on camera): Black male. Black male.
RAMSEY: But that doesn't mean that every black male, every young black male is engaged in criminal activity. In fact, the vast majority are not.
THOMAS (voice-over): Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey says crime statistics are no excuse for police bias against minorities.
RAMSEY: We have to be able to enforce law fairly and objectively and not have, you know, pre-formed opinions.
THOMAS (on camera): Is it about trust at the end of the day?
RAMSEY: It is about trust, but it's about trust on both sides.
THOMAS (voice-over): But in places like Ferguson, where police pull over blacks in disproportionate levels to whites, trust has been hard to come by.
RADDATZ: Pierre joins us now, along with St. Louis Alderman Antonio French. We first met Alderman French when we covered the Ferguson protests back in August.
Thanks so much for joining us. Let's pick up where Pierre's piece ended. Bad relationships between the police and the community cause incidents like this in the first place.
ANTONIO FRENCH, ST. LOUIS ALDERMAN: Yes, and it's dangerous because, you know, obviously in our neighborhoods where we do have a lot of violent crime, we need that level of trust between police and the community in order for the police to be effective. And when that's broken, it really makes it difficult for everybody.
RADDATZ: Pierre, you've heard him talk about racial profiling leading to less safe neighborhoods. Is that what you have found?
THOMAS: You know, I've spent a lot of time with police in this country, and they have to make split-second decisions often dealing with young African-American males. And what Chief Ramsey was saying over and over again, it's about trust, it's about training, and knowing how to de-escalate situations often rather than take them to the next level.
RADDATZ: Well, Pierre, you and I have talked about this a little -- a little at work this weekend. And I was fascinated by -- and I want you both to talk about this. I think a lot of people say, but, wait a minute, look at the statistics, how do you not say, well, he might fit the description more than the guy next to him who isn't black? How do you get beyond that and still not racially profile but do good police work?
FRENCH: Well, I think that's what it comes down to, is doing good police work. You can't paint with broad brushes and you have to understand that there may be some people, just like any American group, that engage in criminal activity. But you can't paint a picture that puts everybody in the same group.
And there's a consequence to when you do that. And I think what we're seeing in Ferguson is that you have a large group of people now who feel like the system does not work for them and actually works against them.
RADDATZ: And, Pierre.
THOMAS: Something Ramsey said over and over, do your job. When you encounter someone, look at what they're doing and don't come in with preconceived notions.
RADDATZ: Let's talk, Alderman, about going forward and what you expect to happen in Ferguson when this grand jury decision comes down.
FRENCH: Yes, so I have not given up hope that there will be an indictment. I think the evidence warrants at least a trial. And I think ultimately that's what the community needs in order to heal the long-term wounds.
But if it doesn't go that way, I think we will see large protests in the street. And what we've asked police to do is, again, if there are individual cases of individuals who break the law, to deal with them and do not tear gas entire crowds of people or punish the entire group.
RADDATZ: You said when we were there last that you thought a lot of outside instigators came in to Ferguson. They weren't actually locals. Is that one of the biggest problems here?
FRENCH: Well, I do worry that that's going to happen again. After some of the press conferences we've seen from government officials, I worry that we're getting back into this mind-set of them versus us, and it becomes a rallying cry for groups all over to come in to Ferguson and to St. Louis.
And so that's an element that we'll have to deal with. But, again, we don't want to punish the entire group of peaceful protesters because of the actions of a few.
RADDATZ: And, Pierre, just very quickly, what are you expecting? What are you hearing? Are they ready in Ferguson?
THOMAS: Well, there will be a large police presence. The Justice Department is monitoring this very closely. Remember, there's a Justice Department investigation of Officer Wilson, as well.
Also they're investigating the police department, so the final word will not be whatever the grand jury does.
RADDATZ: Thanks very much to both of you.
Up next, the showdown over the Keystone pipeline. Will it really create thousands of American jobs and lower the price you pay at the pump?
Plus, Bill Clinton speaking out. The move he says President Obama made that hurt Democrats in the midterms.
RADDATZ: Now to our "Closer Look" Tuesday's critical Senate vote on the controversial Keystone oil pipeline, pitting President Obama against the GOP and some of his fellow Democrats.
Key questions this morning, how many jobs would the project really create and would you see lower gas prices? We'll take that on with the CEO developing the pipeline after chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl.
JONATHAN KARL, ABC CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Keystone pipeline played a starring role in many of the year's biggest races.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congressman Cory Gardner supports building the Keystone pipeline.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Keystone pipeline...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Keystone pipeline...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Keystone pipeline...
KARL: Red State Democrats vowed to fight for it, too.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But too many Democrats play politics by dragging their feet on the Keystone Pipeline.
KARL: The pipeline would send tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to Nebraska where it would hook up with existing pipeline to go to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
Supporters say it would create jobs and help bring energy prices down. Critics say the environmental costs are just too high.
For nearly six years, President Obama has delayed making a decision on whether or not to approve it.
Nobody is pushing harder for the Keystone Pipeline now than Democrat Mary Landrieu. Desperate to burnish her drill baby drill image as she faces a tough runoff election in Louisiana on December 6.
SEN. MARY LANDRIEU, (D) LOUISIANA: I believe it is time to act.
KARL: In an effort to throw Landrieu a lifeline, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid is finally allowing Keystone to come up for a vote.
Liberals are livid. As for Republicans, they think Landrieu is going down anyway and see a long awaited goal finally in reach.
Asked about it Friday, President Obama was critical of the bill, but never uttered the word veto.
Soon, he will finally have to say exactly where he stands.
For this week, Jonathan Karl, ABC News, Washington.
RADDATZ: And joining us now, Russ Girling, CEO of TransCanada, the company developing the Keystone Pipeline.
Thanks for joining us Mr. Girling.
If this passes and the president vetoes it, can you really wait any longer? What are the chances this ever gets built after six years?
RUSS GIRLING, CEO, TRANSCANADA CORPORATION: I think there's a very high probability this pipeline gets built. You know, since we started the project, you know, the demand for it has just continued to increase. Production in the U.S. is up by about 2 million barrels a day and in Canada it's up by about a million barrels a day, the need for transportation continues to grow and the place where these producers want to put those barrels is into the Gulf coast of the United States.
So, our shippers have not wavered one bit over the last six years, they still want this to happen and as long as they're there, we're going to continue to push to make it happen.
RADDATZ: I want to bring it up, Mitt Romney's former energy adviser Harold Hamm, who is CEO of Oklahoma based Continental Resources, said in an interview this week that both the U.S. and international oil markets are awash in oil, which has driven the prices down sharply. So if we have an oil oversupply, do we really need more Canadian oil here?
GIRLING: Oh, I think definitely. As the United States still consumes about 15 million barrels a day. And even with the production increases only produces about 10 of its own, nine of its own. So it still needs to import 6 to 7 million barrels a day every day. And you can see that as far out in the future as you could see.
And I would say that the best place to get that oil is from Canada.
So, as I said the need for this pipeline continues to grow. And I guess it's exactly what I just said is because you've got more oil being produced, you need to transport it. And unfortunately what's happened at the current time is that oil is being transported by rail, which is far less safe and more environmentally intrusive than the pipeline. So it makes even more sense today to build the pipeline.
RADDATZ: Mr. Girling, I want your reaction to what President Obama said on Friday. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Understand what this project is, it is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land down to the Gulf where it will be sold everywhere else. It doesn't have an impact on U.S. gas prices...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: Your reaction to that, sir.
GIRLING: Well, I think that the State Department is quite clear on that. After six years and some thousands and thousands of pages, it comes to the conclusion that all of this oil will be used in the Gulf Coast. 100 percent of our shippers continue to say that the oil will come out of Canada and be delivered to the Gulf Coast. It will create 9,000 jobs. I know that it's going -- I'm going to hire those people to actually construct the pipeline. And the Department of State's own report says that it'll create 42,000 jobs, $3.5 billion of GDP increase in the U.S. economy, $2 billion in wages.
I think it's hard to say that this...
RADDATZ: There are others who say the jobs will not be so great, going as low as 4,000 jobs. And that the jobs will only be here for a couple of years. The State Department, you mentioned the State Department, says that once the proposed project enters service, operations will require approximately 50 total employees in the U.S.
GIRLING: Yeah, the State Department report details every type of job. And, yes, the actual operating jobs are about 50. But that doesn't include all the other jobs that come with it.
As I said, the State Department report concludes about 42,000 jobs, including all the direct and indirect jobs...
RADDATZ: For about two years.
GIRLING: ...of that report.
No, the 42,000 jobs is an ongoing and during jobs.
I mean, just think about think about things like property tax, for example. We'll pay probably in the neighborhood of $50 million in property tax in those communities across which we traverse. There's about 29 counties we traverse, probably taxes will increase by 10 percent. At $50 million a year, will go to creating jobs...
RADDATZ: I think there's a lot of debate to come on this. We really appreciate you joining us this morning.
Up next, could an immigration showdown spark a government shutdown?
Plus, new details on Hillary's 2016 decision. Why it could come in January. And the new hint she dropped this weekend.
Back in two minutes.
RADDATZ: Now to the first showdown between President Obama and the new Republican congress. Just days after that Democratic drubbing in the midterms, the president if vowing to press ahead with executive action on immigration reform.
ABC's Jim Avila traveling with the president at the G20 summit on what could be in store when he returns home.
JIM AVILA, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: The president's pivot to Asia, filled with photo ops and hugs. But never far away, domestic politics and the looming go it alone decision to reform immigration by presidential fiat.
In 2013, you said I'm not the emperor of the United States, my job is to execute laws that are passed. Mr. President, what has changed since then?
OBAMA: Actually, my position hasn't changed. There is a very simply solution to this perception that somehow I'm exercising too much executive authority: pass a bill I can sign on this issue.
AVILA: The timing and final plan, say senior administration officials, will be sealed this week.
White House sources tell ABC News, more than 5 million undocumented workers living in the United States illegally for more than five years, will come out of the shadows and receive legal status.
The executive action will not affect any of the thousands of immigrants who flooded the Texas border this year.
The president's announcement may come as soon as this Friday, but most here believe Obama will wait until after Congress goes home in early December.
Republicans are set to erupt with political fury if Congress is bypassed.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) OHIO: We're going to fight the president tooth and nail if he continues down this path. This is the wrong way to govern.
AVILA: Some Republicans have suggested they may block spending proposals in protest, sparking fears of yet another government shutdown.
But Democrats point out that two Republican presidents, Ronald Reagan and Bush 41, both took executive actions granting legal status to the undocumented.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That's going to happen before the end of the year.
AVILA: Perhaps this week, for sure before the end of the year.
For THIS WEEK, Jim Avila, ABC News, Brisbane, Australia.
RADDATZ: Our thanks to Jim. Joining us now: Congressman Luis Gutierrez, Democrat from Illinois; and Congressman Tom Cole, Republican from Oklahoma.
Welcome, gentlemen, let me start with you. Congressman, why move on this executive action now?
REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS: Because...
RADDATZ: Why not have some good will with the new Congress, wait six months?
GUTIERREZ: I think it's an excellent question. Number one, we said to the Republican Party, we want to work with you. And the president has attempted to work with them. We passed a Senate bill.
When the Republicans said, can't include gay people, it was hard for us, but we said OK. When they said there couldn't be citizenship for everyone right away, we said OK. When they said, hey, we have to do it in bits and pieces, we said OK.
Each and every time we said OK, they refused to act on the issue. And why must the president act now? Because millions of American families are depending on the president fixing a broken immigration system because I, and I know that my colleagues, are tired of seeing U.S. servicemen being called to be deployed in defense of our nation, and at the same time when they receive that deployment notice, receiving a notice that their wife should be deported because there are 4 million American citizens' children who want to live with their moms and dads.
RADDATZ: Congressman Cole, I think he's putting it right to you. And the Senate passed immigration reform, I think, more than 500 days ago, been sitting in the House. Why shouldn't the president just say, I've had enough?
REP. TOM COLE (R), OKLAHOMA: Well, first of all, the president I think here is being political and cynical. He had plenty of opportunities to do things when he had complete Democratic control, promised to have a bill within 100 days, didn't do any of those things, said he would act this year, then put it off after the elections for political reasons.
So it has been a political weapon rather than a problem to be solved, in my view, from the president's standpoint.
Second, you know, that bill that passed the Senate, two out of every three Republicans in the Senate voted against it. So the idea it was going to pass a Republican House was just never in the cards.
And, frankly, the threat was always that this bill will be used as a political football going back and forward. I think the president would be much better advised to wait until Congress is at least sworn in. It's not as if he can't do this down the road. He's trying to pick a fight. He's trying to distract...
RADDATZ: But that is -- we're talking about a couple of months here, and good will.
GUTIERREZ: A couple of things. Look, they wanted more Border Patrol agents, 30,000 more of them. They were included in the Senate bill. We just came from an election cycle in which not only that they say the border wasn't secure, but that ISIS was coming through and Ebola was coming through.
They mixed all of this together and then they say that we're poisoning the well. All I am saying is this, there are 4 million American citizen children. You just heard the speaker say that this is a fight that he's going to have with the president. He's wrong. He's going to have this fight with millions of Americans who want to fix our broken immigration system.
COLE: His fight is not over immigration. His fight is with the process that the president is using, a process the president himself said was unconstitutional a couple of years ago.
RADDATZ: Should government shutdown be on the table?
COLE: Absolutely not. It's an inappropriate weapon, inappropriate tool. What ought to be done, frankly, is, number one, if we think he has gone beyond legal limits, we ought to go to the courts.
RADDATZ: Impeachment? Impeachment, someone put on the table. Charles Krauthammer put impeachment on the table.
COLE: We ought to start...
GUTIERREZ: We can fix this right away. Any decision the president makes, it will take three, four, maybe five months before anybody can apply for a benefit under the president's executive -- you're going to have the House and Senate act.
Put your bill up. I assure you, I say this sincerely, I stood with Paul Ryan in Chicago, I stood with Carter in San Antonio, I stood with (INAUDIBLE), I stood with...
COLE: Is this convincing you?
GUTIERREZ: ... time and time again. I will stand with you if we fix...
COLE: I actually don't doubt my friend's...
GUTIERREZ: ... the broken immigration system.
COLE: But I think the president wants a fight. I think he's actually trying to bait us into doing some of these extreme things that have been suggested. I don't think we will.
But I think what you will see is the immigration thing probably broken into pieces. If it was up to me, and it's not, I would start with a big border security bill. And I would move it through the House and the Senate, it's bipartisan, we'll see what the president does.
H1-B visa reform...
GUTIERREZ: Look, in the meantime -- in the meantime, let's say to American citizens who are married, who this broken immigration system is destroying their marriages, to American citizen children, we're going to put you in a safe place in abeyance while the congressman and I and others work on a final solution.
RADDATZ: But you're going to have to continue...
GUTIERREZ: The president has the authority.
RADDATZ: ... on the Hill.
But thank you very much for joining us this morning.
GUTIERREZ: Thank you.
COLE: Thank you.
RADDATZ: Up next, the countdown to Hillary's 2016 decision, and the uproar over those surprising Obamacare comments from a key proponent of the law. Will they spark a congressional investigation?
But first as the "Roundtable" gets seated, our "Powerhouse Puzzler." This week we saw President Obama mingling with world leaders but, more importantly, koalas at the G-20 summit in Australia. Even Vladimir Putin got in on it. And that inspired our question: Name the closest animal relative of the koala. Back in two minutes with the answer.
RADDATZ: So what is the closest animal relative of the koala? The "Roundtable" is seated. Let's see those white boards. Ana? Oh.
ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Because, you know, he's so warm and fuzzy.
RADDATZ: Putin, Putin, warm and fuzzy, there we go.
DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I just said a bear. I don't know.
RADDATZ: A bear. You're not into this, clearly. Come on.
KARL: It's a marsupial. It's the kangaroo, of course.
RADDATZ: Oh, that's a pretty -- I'd...
KARL: Come on.
RADDATZ: He's not right, but that's pretty close.
KARL: Give me some...
RADDATZ: I think it's close. The answer is the wombat. Not sure I knew what that was.
KARL: Oh, come on.
RADDATZ: We're back in two minutes.
BRAZILE: Never met one in Louisiana.
RADDATZ: Back now with our politics buzz board. Topping it off, a presidential war of the hashtags. Check out Bill Clinton tweeting a thank you to George W. Bush for a copy of his latest book, "41" with the #howareyoustillnotontwitter.
Bush's response, thanks. #howareyoustillnotoninstagram.
They're famous for their bromance but would 43's feelings about 42 change if Jeb and Hillary try for 45?
GEORGE W. BUSH, 43RD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'll still like him when Jeb beats Hillary.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You betting on that?
BUSH: If Jeb runs I think -- look, I don't know if he's going to run. I really don't. I hope he does because he'd be a great president.
RADDATZ: Also buzzing, a Clinton administration reunion in Arkansas. Clinton friend Terry McAuliffe says Hillary will decide about 2016 in 60 days. Could this be a hint?
HILLARY CLINTON, FRM. SECRETARY OF STATE: The fact that we have a granddaughter means that we are even more focused on these issues and thinking about what the world that she will grow up in will be like.
RADDATZ: Back now, Republican strategist Ana Navarro, Democratic strategist Donna Brazil and chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl.
Welcome to all of you. Let me start with you, Donna.
So we heard that 60-day guess. Even if she announces in 60 days, she's got a tough road even if she's the clear front-runner.
BRAZIL: You know, I've told some of my friends who I know, advise, Secretary Clinton that there's no benchmark that she should set between now and, say, east of passover. I mean, there are no Democratic benchmarks. This is a race for delegates.
I think she needs to take time to prepare herself for a grueling two years. The Republicans have already put out their talking points about her candidacy. This is not about nostalgia or being inevitable, this is about the future, having concrete plans that the American people want to hear in terms of the future of the country, not the past.
You know, someone should look at all her speeches and if there are any verbs in past tense theyshould just remove them and get her focused on the future.
RADDATZ: OK. Ana, you sound a little bit like former Obama strategist David Axelrod who says she needs to get out of her cocoon and get out there and compete. True?
NAVARRO: I think so too.
Look, if i was a Democrat right now and I was supporting Hillary Clinton, I'd be praying for a primary challenge because I think what we saw in the book rollout and what we saw during the campaign in some of her speeches is that she is a very rusty candidate.
Let's think about it, this candidate has not, you know, Hillary Clinton has not had a debate since 2008. Secretary of State is as apolitical a position as you can get in an administration so she'd be well served to have a little practice and some real competition going on. If not, all the air is going to get sucked in the room by what's going on on the Republican side.
RADDATZ: But, Jon Karl, let's stay with Hillary Clinton for a moment. She doesn't seem to have any clear challengers coming at her. I want to talk about Senator Elizabeth Warren, people had talked about possibly she would get in there. So they have named her, I love this title, strategic policy adviser to the Democratic policy and communications committee. What does that mean?
KARL: Well, she's not part of the establishment clearly, Martha. But I mean, if you look at this, I think that the election results, one thing they did on the Democratic side is they made the case for a progressive challenge to Hillary Clinton.
One of the arguments you hear over and over again is Democrats ran scared. They didn't run truly as progressives, it was Republicans, you know, I'm not Obama, Democrats, we're not Obama either, so I think there is more space for a progressive challenge but who it is is the question.
I think it is notable that Warren who at one point was saying no, no, no, no to running is now saying, well I'm not running, which is present tense.
BRAZILE: Bernie Sanders this week hired a former colleague of mine Ted Devine to look at the possibility of a presidential run. I've been getting tweets about Al Franken, Senator Al Franken, Again, someone is thinking about it, Joe Biden has already thought it over, but we'll see what happens in the next couple of weeks.
RADDATZ: OK. Let's check out our Facebook senti-meter, measuring the positive and negative feedback on Facebook.
Take a look at the interactions about President Obama. 51 percent of them are negative, only 45 percent positive. Compare that to former President Bill Clinton, 67 percent of people talking about him on Facebook are saying positive things.
So, Donna, does that tell us Bill Clinton would be an asset to Hillary in 2016 and President Obama could hurt? Kind of looks like that to me.
BRAZILE: Well, there is a reason why Bill Clinton was one of the most requested surrogates as well as former secretary of state Hillary Clinton because he's not just relevant, but people understand that he can explain just about any difficult issue, he can tell you what's going on in Washington, talk about the minimum wage. Bill Clinton is just a good asset not just to the Democrats but to the country, that's why people are positive about him.
RADDATZ: Jon Karl, let's leap to Jeb Bush. If he runs, I don't think we'll be seeing George W. Bush out there.
KARL: No, not at all. That's why there won't be reason for tension between Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. George W. Bush will be put away, far away. Jeb wants to run as his own person. Doesn't want to remind people that his brother was a president and at the end a particularly unpopular president.
But I think the other thing that these midterm elections did was expanded the field. You have now Republicans of every stripe who see a reason to run: Chris Christie because of the success of the governors, you have younger candidates like Paul Ryan and Rubio who see this could be the time because not only did Republicans win the red states they won in places like Florida so I think -- I think even Carly Fiorina you are going to see running, we'll talk about that. Republicans thinking they should a woman...
RADDATZ: Let's stay with Jeb Bush for a minute, because I love this quote, "The Financial Times" reports that Jeb was in London this past week and one columnist described him like this, "Bush could yet be presented as the political equivalent of dating a lawyer after being burned by an unreliable rock star." You're not as taken with that quote?
NAVARRO: You know, it takes me a while to translate British but...
RADDATZ: Especially when i read it.
NAVARRO: But, OK, I think, look, I think for me change is going to mean this time, experience, somebody with management experience. And I think Jon is right, Jeb would run as his own man, frankly, because he is his own man. He was governor, a very popular governor in a purple state of Florida with his own record to run on his own policy record, his own record of what his achievements were during his time as governor.
So, of course, he's going to run as his own man because that's what he is -- if he runs.
RADDATZ: I want to move to some very controversial comments this week by Jonathan Gruber, architect of Obamacare. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN GRUBER: Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage and basically, you know, call it the stupidity American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get anything to pass.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: Ouch, Jon Karl.
KARL: Yeah, and, you know, this also kills any chance there would be of Republicans wanting to mend, not end, Obamacare. This plays right into the narrative of how this law was passed.
Look, Jonathan Gruber was not the legislative tactician. He was not on the White House staffbut he did a $400,000 contract.
By the way, Obamacare has been very profitable to Jonathan Gruber. He had contracts for about the same with several other states, another $2 million in contracts on Medicare. This is a -- you know, this to Republicans is about as big a deal as you can get.
RADDATZ: And we pass to the Republican...
NAVARRO: I can't even process these statements because just his -- the elitism, the disdain that he shows towards the American voters are something that should be really disturbing to every American regardless of whether you are a Democrat or a Republican or, you know, independent, whether you're for Obamacare or against Obamacare.
I think we should rename this movie collection because now which for me is like a movie video, the stupidity of Jonathan Gruber.
KARL: Well, this was part of his stump speech. He was saying this over and over again.
BRAZILE: But you know what, we should be talking about the enrollment, the enrollment is back open again...
RADDATZ: I was just going to bring that up.
BRAZILE: And millions of Americans have...
KARL: Started yesterday.
BRAZILE: Thank you.
Millions of Americans...
NAVARRO: Bad timing for these videos.
BRAZILE: Well, of course. But, you know, we love gap politics and the first rule -- and I call it the Donna rule -- is that you never call voters stupid. The second rule is you never call voters stupid with a microphone and a camera, and the third rule is if you call voters stupid and you don't respect them, then you know what, you should get this kind of treatment on national television.
We have so much to be proud of with this Obamacare, despite all of the problems and, unfortunately, he can't talk about that, instead, you know, he insulted the voters.
RADDATZ: OK, thanks to all of you for these comments.
Again, more debate on Capitol Hill and everywhere across the country as we approach 2016 which is still a long way aways.
KARL: But it's getting there.
RADDATZ: Thanks to you all.
And up next, U.S. troops in the Ebola hot zone and the new patient now in the U.S.
RADDATZ: Now to the growing battle against Ebola. This weekend, another health care worker infected while caring for Ebola patients in West Africa arrived in the U.S. Dr. Martin Salia, a Sierra Leone native, will be treated at a biocontainment unit in Nebraska.
Meanwhile, the first wave of American troops deployed to the hot zone arrived home Thursday, part of an American effort to combat an outbreak that's cost over 5,000 lives.
Army Major General Gary Volesky, commander of the 101st airborne, who I've traveled with in both Iraq and Afghanistan, is now in charge of the military's Ebola response and joins us from Liberia.
Major General Volesky, I heard you recently say this is the first time you felt welcomed and people were really happy to see you on a deployment. What improvements have you seen so far? You have not been there more than a couple of weeks.
MAJ. GEN. GARY VOLESKY, COMMANDER, 101ST AIRBORNE: Yeah, well, actually today is our first month in Liberia. And what we've seen is some positive progress. As you know, Ebola treatment units are being built. We're overseeing 17 of those. We're training health care workers to work in those Ebola treatment units, and we're working the sustainment piece.
So while there's been positive movement, there's still 20 brand-new cases here every day. So we're going to keep our foot on the accelerator and help the government in Liberia and federal agency in the USAID to get after this problem.
RADDATZ: And these health care workers, are you out with the population? I think it's a bit confusing because we saw your preparation. We saw your soldiers with the biohazard gear and learning how to use that. So are you actually involved with the population, or are you separated?
VOLESKY: Well, we have the training -- our major training facilities atthe national police training center, and we do bring those candidates or those students in.
However, the risk is very low for any transmission. I mean, they are all checked before they come up. And so we do that training. Training lasts about five days. Currently we've trained just about 200 health care workers and will continue to expand that all throughout December.
RADDATZ: As we said, it's reached -- the death toll has reached the 5,000 mark. The president of Liberia has now lifted the state of emergency in Liberia because the rate of infection is declining there. So will all these Ebola treatment centers be needed? Do you scale back?
VOLESKY: We're going to build all of them.
My assessment is, you know, you've seen Monrovia that had a significant outbreak start to become more manageable, and so we're seeing more incidents out in the rural areas.
So where these Ebola treatment units are currently being built will really help set that network for an enduring capability on the Liberian government and help us take care of this outbreak and any future outbreak that they may have.
RADDATZ: Quickly, the 21 days for your soldiers who are returning to monitor are quarantined. Is that really necessary?
VOLESKY: Well, this is about confidence of our families and communities.
I mean, there's nobody more important than our families and the communities we live in. And so we want to make sure our families and those communities recognize that we're going to do everything possible to ensure that there is no chance of transmission from a soldier to a family member or bring it into communities. So, you know, as we go do this -- and I'm 100 percent behind it -- we're going to ensure our families know they can be confident in the health of their soldier as well as the safety to them and the community.
RADDATZ: Thanks very much for joining us, Major General Volesky. I know you've spent at least half of the past decade on deployments so best to you and best to your family.
Our Sunday Spotlight is next after this from our ABC stations.
RADDATZ: Back now with our Sunday Spotlight shining on a remarkable teenager who turned a family trip into an unlikely and inspiring mission. Here's ABC's Susan Saulny.
NEHA GUPTA, TEENAGER: The place really just was in shambles.
SUSAN SAULNY, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Neha Gupta was a child herself visiting her parents' native India nine years ago carrying out a family tradition of celebrating birthdays by delivering presents to orphans. So moved by the squalor, Neha struck upon what would be her young life's mission.
GUPTA: I didn't want to accept these things, these were things I wanted to fix.
SAULNY: back home in Pennsylvania, she made a bold move for a 9-year-old selling all her toys to raise money for the orphans.
GUPTA: We just put it out on our driveway and people came, bought things and it turned out to be a really successful event.
From that one event, we raised $700, and I guess from that event I wanted to just keep going.
SAULNY: Now an 18-year-old college student, Neha runs empower orphans, a global charity that has raised $1.3 million.
For that astounding effort, she is now one of the few Americans ever nominated for the International Children's Peace Prize awarded by the Dutch Kids Rights Foundation.
GUPTA: It's such an honor to know that I was nominated for this award.
SAULNY: Last year, 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai won the award before going on to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Neha and Malala recently had a chance to meet.
GUPTA: Honestly, I was about to cry. I was so happy.
SAULNY: Neha has exhausted herself finding ways to help orphans selling homemade crafts like these wine charms door to door.
Here's to that idea.
GUPTA: I know, exactly.
SAULNY: Or collecting corporate donations in her dad's SUV.
GUPTA: Where do you think we should give all of this?
SAULNY: It all added up.
In India, Neha's charity helped to build libraries, buy books, equip computer labs, pay for health exams and supply water. She even bought sewing machines to empower women to start their own businesses.
GUPTA: This sewing machine that I bought for this girl was able to changeher life, and she went home, she started her own business, and she was able to support her entire family.
SAULNY: And then there's her own life to think about.
GUPTA: I kind of like slice it at the same time.
SAULNY: Neha describes herself as just an ordinary teenager who happens to have found her calling early in life. That bit of serendipity has touched the lives of more than 25,000 needy children so far.
GUPTA: People I know and people I didn't even know were willing tohelp and get involved so that meant so much to me.
SAULNY: For Neha Gupta, imagine what's next.
For This Week, Susan Saulny, ABC News, Yeardley, Pennsylvania.
RADDATZ: Changing the world.
And we end with some good news, there were no deaths announced by the Pentagon this week in Afghanistan or Iraq.
That's all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us.