'This Week' Transcript: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani is interviewed on 'This Week'

ByABC News
January 11, 2014, 11:16 AM
PHOTO: 'This Week' Roundtable
Representative Adam Kinzinger (R) Illinois, Democratic Strategist and ABC News Contributor Donna Brazile, ABC News Political Analyst and Special Correspondent Matthew Dowd, and Former Obama White House Senior Adviser and ABC News Contributor David Plouffe on 'This Week'
ABC News

— -- Below is a rush transcript for "This Week" on January 12, 2014. This will be updated and is not in its final form.

MARTHA RADDATZ, HOST: Welcome to "This Week."

Jersey jaw dropper.


CHRIS CHRISTIE, GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY: I am embarrassed and humiliated.


RADDATZ: Chris Christie's make or break moment.


CHRISTIE: A person close to me betrayed me. I am a very sad person today.


RADDATZ: This morning, brand new details on the investigations and the fallout, including...




RADDATZ: "Scandal"'s real life inspiration, crisis manager Judy Smith, Rudy Giuliani and our powerhouse roundtable.

Plus, Olympics alert, breaking details on new security warnings. Are our athletes safe?

And pandemonium: Washington's newest star ready for her closeup.

All right here this Sunday morning.

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

RADDATZ: Hello, again. I'm Martha Raddatz, great to have you with us.

Two days after New Jersey governor Chris Christie's marathon press conference, the bridgegate scandal is swirling this morning. New Jersey Democrats are pushing to expand their inquiry beyond just the federal investigation.

So, what happens now and how will it impact Christie's presidential prospects?

We're covering every angle. Let's get started with the latest developments from New Jersey. ABC's Jim Avila is there now -- Jim.

JIM AVILA, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Martha. During that nearly two-hour news conference, Governor Christie answered just about every question, except the critical one, how could this happen, dangerously leaving that to his critics, the press and federal prosecutors.


AVILA: This is not the bombastic Chris Christie America knew so well, meekly walking down the town hall steps of Fort Lee on a humiliating apology tour. But so far, and the investigations have just begun, nothing in the more than 2,000 pages of documents posted by his political enemies have found the lie in this blanket denial.

CHRISTIE: I had no knowledge or involvement in this issue, in its planning or its execution.

AVILA: What the documents do show is that his aids and appointees were monitoring the traffic disaster they had created with a smoking-gun e-mail, "time for some traffic problems in Ft. Lee."

By noon of the first day of traffic Armageddon, Christie allies had been warned of the increased volume and congestion, and that emergency services had been seriously hampered.

CHIEF KEITH BENDUL, FORT LEE POLICE CHIEF: People protecting the public actually impaired public safety.

AVILA: The new documents show Ft. Lee's pleas were ignored for four days, with Christie's press apparatus stone walling, and only when the New York side of bridge authority stepped in were lanes finally reopened.

Quote, "we are going to fix this fiasco." And, "I will get to the bottom of this abusive decision."

The governor now hoping the prompt dismissal of his Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly and his long-time political guru Bill Stepien, can reverse the impression that the governor's brash style encouraged political vengeance.

CHRISTIE: I am who I am, but I am not a bully.


AVILA: This week, Governor Christie will attempt to change the subject with this state of the state address on Tuesday and then later in the week, goes to Florida to fundraise for other Republicans, leaving behind all those state legislators to whisper about impeachment, and the federal prosecutors to ponder any charges -- Martha.

RADDATZ: A lot to ponder, Jim. Thanks to you.

Now the former mayor of New York and a friend of Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani is here.

Mayor Giuliani, thanks for joining us.

GIULIANI: Thank you, Martha.

RADDATZ: I want to go back to September. Four days, thousands of Ft. Lee residents are stuck on that bridge. Chris Christie is the chief executive of that state. I can't imagine you as New York mayor not saying what the heck is going on over there, forget that traffic study. And yet Chris Christie didn't do that.

GIULIANI: You know, Martha, that's always kind of simplistic after some like this happens, you know, how could it happen, how could you not have known? How did President Obama not know about the IRS targeting right wing groups? You know, massive numbers of right wing groups...

RADDATZ: But this is traffic, this affects everybody. This seems very different.

GIULIANI: Well, that affects a lot of people. And the reality is, things go wrong in an administration. And frankly, you know, he was in campaign-mode at the time, during campaign-mode you miss a lot of things. You're not paying as much attention. We see that with Benghazi.

I'll give you plenty of examples. Every administration, every president, every mayor, every governor, something goes wrong below them and then the press ask, gosh, how do they not know? How did they not realize?

The reality is, he says he didn't realize. He says he didn't know. I think it's pretty darn credible. He wouldn't make this blanket denial unless it's not true.

RADDATZ: But -- Mr. Mayor, we're talking about two different things. You're talking about him saying he didn't know there was any scandal involved in this. He had to know there was all that traffic.

GIULIANI: Well, yeah, I'm saying, you miss things. I mean, things happen in an administration, things happen when you're running for re-election. After the fact, it seems like how didn't they know?

But the reality is you miss a lot of things when you're running a government that's as complicated as New Jersey, New York or the United States.

This has happened to many presidents, many governors, many mayors. It's happened to the present president at three or four times where he said I didn't know. And then the press says, gosh, how could he not have known?

RADDATZ: Well, let's talk about the culture of that office. Obviously he's dismissed his aid Bridget Anne Kelly, Bill Stepien. But what about the culture of that office? What does that say about Chris Christie that they could do something like that?

GIULIANI: But this is what happens in political operations. I mean, people get wrong messages. It happens all the time. It happened, again, I go back to the IRS scandal. The people in the IRS though President Obama wanted them to do this. President Obama didn't want them to do this. But they got the sense because of that culture that they were supposed to target right wing groups. It was totally wrong.

I think it was totally wrong for these people to have interpreted Chris Christie this way.

But, look, he's handled it the best way you can possibly handle it. He's held a press conference, he's flatly denied it. If for some reason it's not true, the man has put his political career completely at risk. If it turns out that there's some evidence that he knew about it, he's taken the complete risk that his political career is over.

I don't think he would do that if there's any suggestion he knew about this.

RADDATZ: So you think this just goes away for Chris Christie? Have you talked to him?

GIULIANI: Yes, I think it goes just away. Again, you know, it depends on what happens, what facts come out.

The other thing that's very impressive to me was, I think when this first came up, I don't think he wouldn't have made a joke had he had any knowledge of it. Typically, when a politician is obfuscating something like that, they're going to get very careful. Plus, during the press conference, they're going to end up be careful with words like I couldn't remember, I'm not sure, possibly, maybe. This was very, very definitive.

So I'm pretty sure that this is going to go away. Obviously, it's going to take awhile. There are going to be more inquiries. But ultimately his entire governorship will be the thing that gets evaluated.

This obviously will never be a plus, but I don't think it's going to be fatal.

RADDATZ: The end of him.

OK, thank you very much, Mayor Giuliani.

Now let's break down all the legal angles, including that federal investigation. "Nightline" co-anchor Dan Abrams joins us.

Dan, the investigations that will ensue, how broad can they be? And can they go after any of Chris Christie's e-mails? We haven't seen any of Chris Christie's e-mails in all of this.

DAN ABRAMS, NIGHTLINE CO-ANCHOR: Well, look, I think they're going to be able to get all e-mails relating to the closure of those lanes on the bridge whether they come from Chris Christie or anyone else in his office. Of course, Chris Christie says there are no e-mails that are relevant to that. So that's we're going to have to see.

But when it comes to this federal investigation, I don't think he's going to be as concerned right now about a possible federal crime. I don't see any possible federal crimes here.

But what he is concerned about, or what he should be concerned about, is the investigation itself, the fact that there's a legislative investigation, there's a federal criminal investigation. And the question will be what do they find in connection with that that could have political fallout, meaning do they find any correspondence, or witnesses say something that contradicts what Christie said in the press conference, that would be my concern if I were him rather than true legal.

So, it's the legal investigation that could lead to political fallout.

RADDATZ: And I would think this could go on for a while, right?

ABRAMS: Oh, it could go on many, many months.

Look, the problem with these types of investigations is they take on a life of their own. You investigating one thing, and you start digging in, and lo and behold, you find something else. And you say wait a second, yes, we were just investigating the lane closures to start with. But look at what road this has taken us down, look what else we found here. And then they begin moving on to a different kind of investigation.

So those are the sorts of concerns you have to have if you're Chris Christie or his aids.

RADDATZ: Could be a long couple of months. Thanks, Dan.

Mow perhaps the biggest question: how will all of this impact Chris Christie's chances if he decides to run for president? He's one of the GOP's biggest stars who grabbed the national spotlight not only with his blowout reelection win in a blue state, but with his incredibly unique style.

RADDATZ: Here's Jonathan Karl.


JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris Christie is the most intriguing and colorful person in politics today, a hard-charging Republican who loves Bruce Springsteen and picks fights with teachers unions. He's known for telling it like it is.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Get the hell off the beach in Asbury Park and get out.

KARL: And occasionally telling off a constituent.

CHRISTIE: Your rear end is going to get thrown in jail, idiot.

KARL: And reporters.

CHRISTIE: Did I stay on topic?

Are you stupid?

KARL: The Christie temper is becoming a trademark, something he jokes about.

CHRISTIE: Stop saying things that I've already said.


KARL: Tough talk made him so popular among some Republicans, that when he went to the Reagan Library a couple of years ago, they practically begged him to run for president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM September 2011)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really implore you, as a citizen of this country, to please, sir, to reconsider. Go home and really think about it.


KARL: He was the keynote speaker at the Republican Convention and yet, he's also Barack Obama's favorite Republican.

Who could forget when they played carnival games together on the Jersey Shore boardwalk?

Christie was first asked about the George Washington Bridge allegations last month. His bombast was on full display.

CHRISTIE: But I actually was the guy working the cones out there.

You really are not serious with that question?

KARL: When the facts came out, a different Christie, one we hadn't seen before.

CHRISTIE: I am sad to report to the people of New Jersey that we fell short.

KARL: Contrite, for the most part, apologetic, avoiding the kind of indignant denial that has backfired in scandals ranging from Bill Clinton's...


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I did not have sexual relations with that woman.


KARL: -- to Lance Armstrong.


LANCE ARMSTRONG: I have never doped. That's crazy. I would never do that.


KARL: And Anthony Weiner.


ANTHONY WEINER, FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: This is a Twitter hoax, a prank that was done. I am a victim of it.


KARL: Where others ran away from the cameras and avoided questions, Christie answered and answered, for nearly two hours.


RADDATZ: And John joins us now.

And also here to talk about how Governor Christie performed in the press conference and what he should do now, the superstar crisis manager who was the inspiration for the Olivia Pope character on the hit show, "Scandal," Judy Smith.

Welcome to you both.


RADDATZ: Judy, I want to ask you, first, the one word I've heard in the last couple of days, it wasn't the first day, is the word cover-up. No -- nothing to show that Chris Christie did that, but lots of talk about staff and others doing that.

How does he get beyond that?

SMITH: Yes, I think he did a good first step. I think the press conference, he did a great job. He set the message narrative at the top. He apologized. He took responsibility. He made some swift actions.

And I like the fact he was able to make sure that he apologized to the mayor and he did all of those things in one day.

I think now what he does is he focuses on governing. He was very strong in pointing out during the press conference, I think, that this is not the way that he governs, this is an isolated incident. So constituents, please judge me on the totality of the circumstances.

RADDATZ: Jon Karl, you're watching this. You've covered a lot of scandals. And some of them haven't gone so well so -- in the end.

So you look at this, you listen to what Judy says, what's your take?

KARL: Well, first of all, I mean we've certainly had scandals that are more salacious.


KARL: We've had scandals where people have used state power to enrich themselves, to reward their friends, enrich their friends.

This is the first time I've seen -- I've personally covered a scandal where there has been the use of state power to intentionally make people miserable, to make constituents...

RADDATZ: Which is what I was trying to get at...

KARL: -- ordinary people...

RADDATZ: -- with Mayor Giuliani.

KARL: -- including Giuliani...


KARL: And, you know, it all comes down to the underlying facts, right?

Certainly he did a -- this was a pretty masterful performance at this press conference.

But if there is anything that ties Christie to this decision or shows that he knew about this earlier...

RADDATZ: Making people miss school...



KARL: -- we heard this from Rudy Giuliani himself...


KARL: -- saying that Christie is done if he knew about this.

RADDATZ: I want to go to the -- who he is...


RADDATZ: -- and the man he is and the bully image.

Let's play something from that press conference and then we'll get your reaction to it.

SMITH: OK. All right.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your critics say this reveals that you are a political bully, that your style is payback.

Are you?

CHRISTIE: I am who I am, but I am not a bully.


RADDATZ: Not a bully.

Now you can call it aggressive, you can call it assertive, people clearly have liked that in the past so -- but does -- is it an asset and does it now becomes a liability?

SMITH: I think it's an asset. And the reason why I say it, first of all, in that particular clip there, I would have not used the word "bully." It was repeating the negative and it felt too on the nose for me.

I do think that his reputation is based on that straight shooter, speak what I'm thinking, tell it, what I feel. And those things have helped him.

I think, in particular, in crisis situations, where you are trying to bounce back -- and as we talked about earlier, moving beyond the crisis, the thing that really helps is whether you have goodwill and a reputation.

And I think with him, those two things are going to be helpful to him in trying to push past that, because he does have a reputation of integrity and honesty.

KARL: But you never repeat the negative.

SMITH: No, you don't.

KARL: I am not a crook.

SMITH: Right.

KARL: I am not a witch.

SMITH: That's exactly right.


SMITH: I didn't kill my wife. I didn't beat my wife. And, you know, the next day, you saw a lot of the headlines say, "I am not a bully."

KARL: That clip was over and over again.

SMITH: Yes. No, absolutely. Absolutely.

RADDATZ: So both of you, quickly, where will this be in six months and how would you say he should handle this in six months?

Does he stop answering questions in six months and hope this goes away?

SMITH: I think that he should stop answering questions. We have to see what the investigation reveals and he just has to move past this. You know, as long as there's nothing that contradicts what he said in the press conference -- and hopefully, there's no...

RADDATZ: Does it end in six months -- Jon?

KARL: The underlying facts are more important than how he handles the communication strategy.

Did he know?

The big question I have...


KARL: -- what about Bridget Anne Kelly, the staffer that he has thrown under the bus, called an idiot, stupid. She's going to have her time to talk.


KARL: What is she going to say?


SMITH: -- say. Yes.

KARL: Maybe she'll ask your advice.

RADDATZ: Quickly...

SMITH: She might...


SMITH: The one thing I will say, and we were talking about this, the thing that is so different about this scandal is its traffic.

What people...


SMITH: -- don't think about their commute every single day?

It's different in, I had sex with another woman. I mean we care about how long it takes us to get to work...


RADDATZ: So Bridget Kelly, should she talk, should she not talk, if she was your client?

SMITH: She's going to have to talk at some point.

RADDATZ: And Chris Christie is not your client and...

SMITH: He's not.


RADDATZ: Thanks to you both.

Time for the roundtable.

But first, Chris Christie's troubles were easy pickings for late night comics.


JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST: One thing he said did seem a little bit fishy to me.

CHRISTIE: I was blind-sided yesterday morning. I was done with my workout.

KIMMEL: He could have said he was on his roof putting ribbons on unicorns and it would have been more believable.



SETH MEYERS, HOST: Some say this could ruin Christie's chances of being elected president in 2016, while Hillary Clinton said, "Party!"


JON STEWART, HOST: Well, clearly, somebody is getting thrown under the bus here. Fortunately for them, the bus isn't moving, it's stuck in terrible, terrible traffic.


RADDATZ: OK. The roundtable is now ready to go.

Former White House senior adviser and ABC contributor, David Plouffe, Illinois Republican Congressman, Adam Kinzinger, ABC's Matthew Dowd and Democratic strategist, Donna Brazile.

Welcome to you all -- Matthew, I want to start with you, if you can stop laughing.


RADDATZ: Let's talk about the way the Republicans approach this. We've heard from Lindsey Graham, "The Drudge Report," Rush Limbaugh.

I want to read something from Dan Balz in this morning's "Washington Post." "The coming GOP campaign is likely to be neither tidy or predictable. A power struggle is underway between the party's establishment and the insurgent wings," meaning the business elite and the populist Tea Party factions.

So what do you see as the fallout for the Republicans from Chris Christie?

What happens?

MATTHEW DOWD, ABC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, that's exactly why the importance of this, I think, has been raised so much, because this is uncharted territory for Republicans. They normally are lined up behind somebody, a dominant candidate that is coming in, that has all the money, that's going to be the nominee. It's been that way for 50, 60, 70 years.

We now are in a situation and a nominating process that we're -- that the Republicans are faced with where they don't have a leading candidate.

But the only that was a pre-season favorite in all of this was Chris Christie. He was the pre-season favorite that could bridge the divide, that could work between the two opposing parts of the Republican Party, that could attract moderates.

And they were so, but we're in this uncharted territory. And Chris Christie was the lighthouse, that everybody could go to a safe harbor to. And now that's a question mark in people's minds.

And so I think there's, right now, among a lot of Republicans, there is a search. They have a tremendous opportunity, Martha. Republicans have a tremendous -- this is an election that Republicans, if you look at historical patterns, should win the presidency in 2016, if you look at historical patterns.

But they don't have a candidate and they don't have a message that matches up well right now.


RADDATZ: And they have one that was just injured.


RADDATZ: What do the Democrats think?

BRAZILE: Well, first of all, he was winning the invisible primary because there was no one else visible. I mean Chris Christie sort of popped on the national stage after Hurricane Sandy. He was the fix-it governor, who didn't mind embracing President Obama. He was taking care of the people. He was telling teachers to shut up, sit down.

And all of a sudden, this controversy erupts. His brand is now tarnished.

He's in a no-win position. And the Republicans now have to go back to the drawing board to find someone like Chris Christie to run in 2016.

Here's why. He won in a landslide in a blue state. He picked up women. He picked up half the Hispanic vote, one third of the Democratic vote.

He was raising money. And now people will continue to raise questions as to whether or not he knew.

And if -- I mean, I still can't believe that some woman on his staff, some deputy chief of staff or some man or whoever, was the only person involved in shutting down a huge bridge. This is not the Mississippi River bridge, this is the George Washington Bridge.

RADDATZ: And, Donna, that takes us to the staff. Look, you worked in the White House for many, many years. I assume you're trying to please your boss. I assume you're trying to read your boss's mind. And you look at Chris Christie saying, I can't believe it happened. I just can't believe it happened.

PLOUFFE: Well, I think that -- and I think his performance this week shows some of the great appeal he has. But I do think he kind of got away with one thing, which is, I have got 60,000 people working with me.

These are very close people, his campaign manager, his deputy chief of staff. When I worked in the White House, every decision you made, you did with the thought of, what would my boss think about this? You ran anything important by him.

Now my sense is he wouldn't have been so strong if he knew about this. But this investigation is going to be very tortuous for them. He's up on a high wire, if anything comes out.

I think there's a lesson here though, which is, you're the governor of New Jersey. There are no TV stations in New Jersey. The scrutiny that he was under is nothing compared to what he is now. This is a withering spotlight, its punishing nature few people can survive.

So if he is able to get through this and his story holds up, he might be better for it. It's a lesson learned early.

But I think there are a lot more shoes to drop here. They may not get to his closet, so to speak. But these investigations both by the news media, by legal -- you know, the DoJ, and clearly in New Jersey, I think are going to turn up a lot more here.

KINZINGER: I just want to add to that quickly, though, I mean, keep in mind, and, again, if he knew, we're going to find out, right? I don't think...

RADDATZ: That's a whole different...


KINZINGER: Right. It's not my position to find that out. But I think he took the bull by the horns. He has held people accountable. He fired people. And I think it is a very big difference than how this administration has handled a lot of things that have happened, whether IRS, whether it's Benghazi, whether it's the -- you can keep your health insurance if you want it.

But nobody has been fired over that. And what we're seeing is a big difference. So I think if he comes out of this untarnished personally, this actually may really set him up for 2016.


RADDATZ: I want to move on to this just quickly. Big story this week that went away pretty quickly, and that's the publication of the book by Robert Gates, the defense secretary. I think he's the first defense secretary in history to write about a sitting president.

But he also wrote about a couple of other people, speaking of 2016. He said about Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton. First of all, Joe Biden: "I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades."

On Hillary: "Hillary told the president that her opposition to the 2007 surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary." That offended Secretary Gates enormously. A pretty strong accusation, so what does this do for the race for Biden and Clinton?

BRAZILE: Well, you know, if you read the book in its entirety, and I've read only excerpts...

RADDATZ: I've read most of it.

BRAZILE: All right. Well, I mean, I still think he makes some good policy statements that he agreed with the president on. In fact, he agreed with the vice president on the policy in Libya, and agreed with Clinton on some things.

So he makes a lot of personal statements about these individuals, but you know what I didn't find in the excerpts? I didn't find any insight into national security, some of the toughest decisions. This guy served at a time when we were embroiled in two wars, from 2006 to 2011, and to come out with a book with some petty, vindictive things, I don't know.

RADDATZ: It's a long book. Does it change the race at all?

DOWD: Well, first of all, I'm not a fan of these kinds of books anyway. I am a fan of books that basically sort of add value to the sort of history and all that. I think these tell-all books that come out in the midst of an administration, and now people have a total right to do these kind of books, I don't think it's helpful on either side of the aisle for books to be written in the midst of a presidency.

It's fine, write it afterwards. But I don't he added much value. What he said about Hillary, Hillary can be political at times and she has made decisions. Wow, that's breaking news...

RADDATZ: That's fair. Let me go very quickly around. And we're going to come back. Because, you know, very quickly, Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie, still the frontrunners a year from now?

PLOUFFE: Sure, but, you know, there's basically 50 lifetimes between now and then. So a lot is going to change.

KINZINGER: Everything he said, but I would actually put Jeb Bush as a potential frontrunner too. I think the more he gets out, the more people are going to like what he has to say.

DOWD: I predict that a year from now, we are going to be talking about another candidate, some other candidate has lit the fire in either party.


BRAZILE: I agree with matt for a change.


RADDATZ: Yes, we'll go back and see though in a year.

BRAZILE: It must be the weather.

RADDATZ: As we said, much more with the "Roundtable" ahead. New warnings about security in Russia, are our athletes safe? Breaking details next. Republicans jump into the debate over income inequality.

And later, new Fed Chair Janet Yellen and GM CEO Mary Barra take center stage. Will it be a landmark year for female leaders? Our experts weigh in, including the first Air Force female fighter pilot.


RADDATZ: So just another day at the office.

COL. JEANNIE LEAVITT, U.S. AIR FORCE: The best office in the world.



RADDATZ: More "Roundtable" next. But first, take a look at the newest star at the Smithsonian National Zoo. We got a sneak peek at Bao Bao getting ready for her big public debut this week. But you might catch her during a nap. The four-and-a-half month old panda sleeps 20 hours a day.


RADDATZ: A look at the massive security set up in Sochi, Russia, as thousands prepare to travel to the Olympics. And now a new State Department warning has American athletes taking extraordinary precautions.

ABC's Kirit Radia is in Moscow with the breaking details -- Kirit.


The new warning from the State Department urges Americans at the Olympics to be on the lookout for a terror attack. The travel warning says that there's no specific threat to Americans, but it warns to be particularly vigilant on public transportation.

All of this comes after a recent string of deadly terror attacks that rocked this region, and after Russia's most wanted terrorist urged his followers to target the games.

President Putin has deployed tens of thousands of troops and a massive surveillance program, all of which means these Olympics will take place on lockdown.

The FBI is sending agents to Sochi in case they can be of help. But the U.S. ski team is not taking any chances. They have hired a private security firm to evacuate them in case of an emergency. The State Department is also warning Americans about Russia's anti-gay law, saying that anyone thought to be promoting homosexuality, including fans at the Olympics, could face jail time. Martha?

RADDATZ: Thanks, Kirit. It's a story we'll be tracking. But we are back now with the roundtable.

I want to continue on with Robert Gates' book, and I want to turn to the war in Afghanistan. He talked a lot about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the things he said about the mission points right to President Obama.

He said, "As I sat there, I thought the president doesn't trust his commander, can't stand Karzai, doesn't believe in his own strategy and doesn't consider the war to be his. For him, it's all about getting out."

He also said that he thought the president supported the troops but not the mission.

One of the things Secretary Gates did here is not only talk about a sitting president but a sitting commander in chief. You are still in the military as a reservist, did two tours in Iraq. Does this undermine President Obama as commander in chief?

KINZINGER: You know, it may chip away at that a little bit, but to be -- I might have to take a different view than the panel. I mean, I think it's important for some of this to come out. I mean, the reality is nobody's been critical of this administration's foreign policy, both in Iraq and Afghanistan, by and large. We haven't heard a lot of it.

For Gates to come out and say, look, here behind the scenes, this is the truth, the President and Hillary Clinton opposed the surge for political reasons. By the way, using politics on foreign policy is absolutely terrible and a leader should never do that.

And in terms of Afghanistan, when was the last time you've -- and I'm a believer in the war in Afghanistan, that we can and should win. When was the last time you have heard the president of the United States tell the American people why we're there and what our interest is? He hasn't talked about it; he's avoided it.

And in fact, in the bilateral security agreement, we're hearing that they're floating a number of 9,000 or 10,000 American troops, when General Allen and generals on the ground recommended at least 15,000 to accomplish the mission. This is important today because America is paying for this, and it's our men and women over there.

RADDATZ: Matt, could it have waited a few years?

DOWD: The book?

RADDATZ: A book.

DOWD: Yeah, this...

RADDATZ: After the president is out of office.

And I just want to go back to that point, too. Because I, as you all know, have been around a lot of our servicemembers. They kind of -- they love Bob Gates. They love Bob Gates. So do they hear Bob Gates saying, you know, the president didn't really care that much about this mission; he wasn't invested in that, and say, you know, Obama's not a great guy?

DOWD: Well, I mean, to go back to whether a book should come out; if it's free press rights, freedom to do that and all that, all I'm saying is, from a standpoint of governing and all that, books that come out that are tell-all books -- this wasn't a book that basically, I don't think, added a lot of value that, sort of, said, uh-oh, wow, we didn't know that. I mean, everybody basically knew the president was against the war, wanted to be out of it, and he asked serious questions of the generals and the commanders, which had not happened a lot in previous...

RADDATZ: And there has been talk about that...



DOWD: But I want to say one thing. One thing about the book, and it was what his criticism was of President Obama was that he supported the troops more than the mission.

There's a quote in the book that says this, Martha -- this is from Bob Gates -- "Even thinking about the troops, I would lose my composure with increasing frequency. I realized I was beginning to regard protecting them" -- the troops -- "avoiding their sacrifice as my highest priority. And I knew that this loss of objectivity meant it was time to leave."

That, to me, is disturbing. You basically have a secretary of defense who basically says you only have to -- you should support the mission more than the troops. And when you start supporting the troops, you have to leave.

KINZINGER: As a military guy, I'd take a quick issue with that in that, as a commander, if I worry only about the safety of the people that work for me, I'll never accomplish a mission. The reality is you have to take that into account. But your highest calling is to achieve the mission that your commander in chief and your country calls on you.


RADDATZ: Get in there on that.

PLOUFFE: Well, first of all, in terms of the excerpt you mentioned, I mean, President Obama campaigned in '08 on ending the Iraq war but adding troops to Afghanistan. So he believed in what he did here. The notion that he didn't have trust in his commander, David Petraeus -- he named him CIA director. So I take huge issue with this.

RADDATZ: But he talks about him not having trust in a lot of the military and thinking...


PLOUFFE: He has -- I was with him in the White House. He has deep trust. But a president's job is to ask tough questions and a president's job is to make decisions based on the overall interests of the country. So not everybody in the military agreed with his decision to end the Iraq War and pull all the troops out. Not everybody in the military agreed with the timeline in Afghanistan.

But these are tough decisions presidents have to make and they're consistent with what he committed to the American people.

BRAZILE: But, you know, Secretary Gates was involved in a lot of confidential meetings in the Situation Room and other places. So President Obama's crime, I guess, according to you, Congressman, and thank you for your service, of course, was that he questioned the generals? Thank God somebody questioned the generals. Questioned our strategy? We have been there for a long time. And people were -- the country had become weary of the war, weary of our mission, not understanding why we were there. They didn't see the -- Afghanistan take responsibility, step up, Mr. Karzai. You know, is he with us, not with us?

The president had every right to question what was the strategy at the time. It wasn't about the troops; it was about the mission going forward. And that's what the president was elected to do.

RADDATZ: And he had other military advisers in the room.

KINZINGER: Sure, well, he's got every right to question. He should. And if Bob Gates' book said that the president never questioned his military generals, I'd be just as critical of the president on that. He absolutely should.

The problem is, though, when they say he's engaging American troops in a mission he doesn't believe in, or he engaged in a strategy that he didn't believe would be successful.

Look, as I said, I'm for winning the war in Afghanistan, but if I actually thought the president thought we never could, I'd be critical of the fact that he sent 20,000 troops to do what he never thought we could accomplish. We see what's happening in Iraq today.


DOWD: I think, first up, as you know, I had a son who served in Iraq, and as a parent, I think I'd want my -- the leaders to, basically, first priority, is when they send these -- when they send our men and women over there, their first priority is keeping them healthy and their well-being.

But there's a bigger, broader thing here. We've had two major wars in the last 50 years, two major wars. The Vietnam War and the Iraq War were basically $2 trillion to $3 trillion that's been spent with no gain -- no gain, thousands and thousands and thousands lost of our men and women. And I think that we should -- we swung way too much over to the idea that we can fight these wars with limited things and get major accomplishments, and more to do we really want to do this?

RADDATZ: I want to turn on this and get to domestic politics in just a moment. But I cannot pass up what you believe should happen in Iraq.

Now, we have Al Qaida flying flags in Fallujah. I was in Fallujah the day before U.S. troops pulled out. That was the flashpoint. We lost almost a hundred Marines there fighting. You think we should employ air strikes?

KINZINGER: Yeah. Look, this is Al Qaida. This isn't an internal Sunni-Shia thing going on. I've always said, and the president has said, anywhere Al Qaida exists, they shouldn't feel safe. If they exist in Fallujah, they should not feel safe.

RADDATZ: To what end?

KINZINGER: To what end? It's helping the Iraqi government to push Al Qaida out of Fallujah.

RADDATZ: So we should side with Maliki, who has been siding with Iran and Russia?

KINZINGER: Against Al Qaida? Absolutely. Absolutely.

RADDATZ: And you think that'll solve the problem?

KINZINGER: I don't know if it'll solve the problem, but it'll help push Al Qaida out of Fallujah. I think the problem exists because there's no policy from this administration in Syria. And this has expanded this everywhere.


KINZINGER: When you have Al Qaida in Fallujah, my goodness, I hope we're going to...

RADDATZ: I don't think he's going to...

BRAZILE: ... resources...

RADDATZ: I don't think he's going to get any resources to do that.

BRAZILE: But no troops on the ground.

KINZINGER: I agree. No troops on the ground.

BRAZILE: And Maliki cannot...

RADDATZ: And I don't think you're going to see air strikes with this president.

BRAZILE: No, no.

DOWD: You know what the problem is, is when democracy is imposed from the outside and the top down, it never works. And Iraq is a perfect explanation of why, when we do this, it never works.


RADDATZ: OK, we've got to move to domestic policy here or we're not going to have any time for domestic policy.


We're going to do it very quickly.

This week, of course, you had the unemployment report, which was not very good; the jobs report gaining 74,000 jobs; and the war on poverty. Donna?

BRAZILE: Well, first of all, the war on poverty -- I mean, Lyndon Johnson said we're going to wage an unconditional war on poverty. It was more than just domestic programs. It was basically sending a message to the country, the richest country on the planet, that we can do better; we can lift people out of poverty. It was an education program. I'm glad we're celebrating that milestone.

Unemployment insurance: it's really up to Senator Reid being able to get those six or seven Republicans back on the same page, figuring out a way to help 1.3 million Americans. Because, if we don't help them, this is going to hurt the economy. It's going to create more unemployment. Employment insurance is something that we should guarantee to people who are still out there looking for work.

RADDATZ: Do you support this?

KINZINGER: Yeah, I mean, look, I think, if we can pay for it and Harry Reid can provide something, I'll take a look at what it is. The reality, though, is this is, kind of, a straw man of the fact that we still live in a very terrible economy. The best unemployment insurance we can give people is a job, get them an opportunity to come back.

And so, look, I think a little self-medicine for our party, we have to do a much better job of showing our compassion for the poor. We have compassion; we just don't articulate it. My father, for instance, ran a homeless shelter for 25 years. I was raised in this environment. And so we need to talk, as Republicans, about how conservative policies aren't based on simply balancing a checkbook. It's the fact that we want a kid born in inner-city Chicago to have the same opportunity as a kid born in Massachusetts or Denver.

RADDATZ: OK, thank to you all.

Up next, prominent women stepping into the national stage. Will this be a landmark year for female leaders?

But first before we go to a break, a new feature, our powerhouse puzzler. This week, we asked you to submit political trivia questions to stump our roundtablers. And we got some great responses.

So, are you ready to be puzzled? "This Week's" question from a viewer Jenaro Castillo, "which president gave the first state of the union speech?" And you have got to tell us where he gave the speech too.

It's a tricky one. Don't go anywhere. Back in just two minutes to see if our roundtable and you guess the answer.


RADDATZ: There's This Week's puzzler. "Which president gave the first state of the union speech and where?"

Let's see everyone's guesses.

It was kind of panic time here in the studio.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really. This is a terrible edition of the roundtable.

RADDATZ: See how powerhouse you are.

Andrew Jackson, Washington, D.C.


I said Abe Lincoln, the White House. And I also apologize to all of my history teachers. Mr. Keo (ph), I'm sorry.

RADDATZ: You have a lot of confidence in that answer.


RADDATZ: So far one of you is wrong, or both of you are wrong. OK

DOWD: I have no idea, President Obama is going to give the next one. Tune into ABC's coverage of the state of the union.

RADDATZ: Oh, Matthew.

BRAZILE: I say President Hoover and in the abbey (ph).

RADDATZ: OK. If I had a big err in the studio, nobody got it right. Nobody. This is the answer. It's George Washington, and he gave his speech to congress -- I know -- back in 1790 in New York City because that was the temporary capital.

BRAZILE: I said George Washington. But he told me not to.

RADDATZ: Oh yeah, I'm sure he talked you out of it, I'm sure.

BRAZILE: I'm not listening to you anymore.

RADDATZ: OK thanks, everyone.

Think you can puzzle the powerhouse roundtable? Tweet us @ThisWeekABC with your trivia question using #twpowerhousepuzzler. Not so powerful today.

Back after this.



SALLY RIDE, NASA ASTRONAUT: I was very honored that the NASA chose me to be the first woman.

SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR, FRM. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: This is a momentous day in my life.



RADDATZ: Historic firsts for women throughout the years. And 2014 is no exception. Two more women jumping into the national spotlight just this week. Our expert panel weighs in shortly. But first, here's ABC's Rebecca Jarvis.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to introduce your new CEO...

REBECCA JARVIS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Mary Barra becoming the first woman to run a car company, making General Motors the largest female-led business in America.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please be seated.

JARVIS: And Janet Yellen confirmed this week as head of the Federal Reserve, making her the most powerful person in charge of our nation's economy.

PETRICE SELLERS, FORTUNE: Both Mary Barra and Janet Yellen don't have any airs, they get the job done.

JARVIS: Barra, a homegrown talent who started at GM in 1980 inspecting Pontiacs coming off the assembly line.

BARRA: Automotive is -- it's kind of in my blood.

JARVIS: Since then, she's become a force within GM, overseeing manufacturing and completely overhauling the car design, Fortune naming her one of the 50 most powerful women in business.

Barra, one of just 23 females running fortune 500 companies, joining women like Hewlett-Packard's Meg Whitman, PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi, Yahoo's Marissa Meyer and Xerox and chairman and CEO Ursula Burns.

What do they have in common?

SELLERS: They're not the girly companies. We have a woman running America's largest automaker. We have women running America's two largest tech companies. We have women running two of the largest defense companies.

JARVIS: And now 100 years after it was founded, the Federal Reserve getting its first female leader, Janet Yellen, earned a Ph.D. from Yale before going on run the San Francisco fed where she famously flagged concerns about subprime mortgages.

SELLERS: It's kind of the classic story of how a very smart woman gets ahead -- keep your head down, disagree quietly, don't look to get press about it.

JARVIS: Until now, when Yellen and Barra both step into the national spotlight.

For this week, Rebecca Jarvis, ABC News, New York.


RADDATZ: Thanks to Rebecca.

Let's dig in to this now with our experts this morning.

Liza Mundy from The Atlantic, author of "The Richer Sex," Reshman Saujani founder of Girls Who Code and author of "Women Who Don't Wait in Line," Carly Fiorina former chair and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, and Colonel Jeanne Leavitt, the first air force female fighter pilot and the first female fighter wing commander now overseeing about 5,000 people.

Jeanne Leavitt allowed me to be kind of the back seat driver on a flight recently in her F-15.

Thanks for that. It was pretty thrilling.

Carly, though, I want to start with you.

When you were named the CEO of Hewlett-Packard so many years ago, there were seven. There were seven female CEOs in the Fortune 500.


RADDATZ: A lot of progress since then, but what has to happen now?

FIORINA: Well, clearly, there's been a lot of progress. I was the first woman to lead a Fortune 50. And as you point out, there were only seven. Now there are 23 big major companies. And you have women assuming absolute top positions of power and authority in industries and politics, as well.

And yet the data overall hasn't shifted much. So, for example, we have less than 20 percent of elected officials are women. We have less than 20 percent of corporate officers are women. That number hasn't changed in decades. And women remain the most underutilized resource in the world and the most subjugated people in the world.

Seventy percent of the people living in abject poverty are women.

And so while there's great progress, on the one hand, there's insufficient progress on the other.

I think we have to change our mind set. I think this is no longer simply about equality or diversity or inclusiveness, although that's very important. I think it's not a question of enlightened self-interest.

Women are an underutilized resource. We need all the brain power, all the smarts, all the heart we can get to capture our opportunities and solve our problems.

And when women aren't fully utilized, as we clearly still are not, we're leaving opportunity on the table and we're leaving problems unsolved.

RADDATZ: Colonel Leavitt, I want to go to you, because there is really no profession that could have been harder to break into than the fighter community. -- testosterone. It was the era of the "Top Gun" movie, all that glamour, all that power.

Listening to male leaders on the Hill, they were saying this will ruin the military, if we let female aviators come in.

I want to take you back about 20 years, when they first presented you to the press.


COL. JEANNIE LEAVITT, 4TH FIGHTER WING COMMANDER, U.S. AIR FORCE: I realize that not every person wanted this to happen. Some did, some didn't. But I also realize that, at this point, it's pretty irrelevant.


RADDATZ: As much as you probably hate looking at those old hairdos, how did you do it?

What was your mindset?

I remember, because I covered it back then. But they were trotting you all out as these new, great women. Men didn't like that so much in that community.

LEAVITT: You're right, Martha. There was a lot of resistance to women flying fighters. That community had been male-dominated for many, many years. And so there was a lot of resistance at first. They didn't want things to change. And that was the fear, is that everything was going to change, and that women would be there just because they were women.

I think the Air Force did a great job of opening up the opportunity, but not forcing women into that career field. And so women had the opportunity and if they were competent and had the abilities, then they were able to go into that.

RADDATZ: And that's what you did. You just basically put your head down and flew airplanes.

LEAVITT: Absolutely.

RADDATZ: And that's the advice you'd give others, I'm sure.

Reshma, let me turn to you. And just talking about moving forward, what's the biggest problem?

And do we have to talk -- do we have to change how we talk about this?

I mean there have been great leaps for females but what happened?

RESHMA SAUJANI, FOUNDER, GIRLS WHO CODE: I think we need a new play book. Like, I'm interested in whether Mary Barra is going to pick a successor that's a woman, whether she's going to make her team more female. To me, women are powerful. Twenty million of us make hiring decisions. Make up 60 percent of America's wealth. You know, we may -- 85 percent of all consumer purchases are made by women. We're 34 percent of middle management.

What are we going to do to uplift one another?

We have to hire one another. We have to promote one another. We have to vote for one another.

We are the majority and we have to start acting like the majority. I think that's the question, because I really believe that sponsorship is the new feminism, what we do for one another, how we elevate one another's leadership.

That's when we're going to see a difference.

RADDATZ: Liza, what has to happen, as far as you're concerned?

LIZA MUNDY, CONTRIBUTOR, "THE ATLANTIC": Well, I think what we see now with women who are being elevated to these really top offices is that we can accept now, culturally, women as leaders. We can. And that's a big change in the past 20 or 30 years, accepting women in positions of top leadership and power.

I think we need to look at what's going on in sort of the middle areas and what's keeping more women from reaching to the top. We need to engage men in the conversations.

RADDATZ: And men in the housework.

MUNDY: Men in the housework. And there are a number of states now that are passing paid maternity and paternity leave laws so that men are encouraged to get involved in the home, to get involved in child rearing and child care from the very first stages. That changes the dynamics in the home permanently and enables women to spend time in the workforce.

Sixty percent of our college and university students now are female. And we need to harness this -- all of this talent and all of this training and preparation and education and keep women in the workforce.

RADDATZ: Carly, is there any part of you that, when you look at the statistics, I think it's 15 percent female law partners -- and this is a kind of a touchy question, are women avoiding that?

Are women making these choices on purpose?

Are they saying, you know what, I do want to divide my time. I do want to have a richer, fuller life and not climb this ladder?

FIORINA: Well, I think it's clearly true that women still have a heavier burden in terms of making those difficult choices around work-life balance. I -- it's clearly true.

But I also think that now what we're up against are the real powerful forces called the status quo and the fact that people are more comfortable with people like themselves.

So if you have a male power structure, men are more comfortable with people like them, men. Women are still perceived as a greater risk.

I think the most important thing is for women to be able to choose to have the opportunity to choose the life they truly want to live.

RADDATZ: Very quickly. Very quickly.

Tell me what would you tell young women today who you mentor?

Very quick advice.

LEAVITT: I would say to do your best and don't take no for an answer. Just absolutely strive to reach your dreams.

RADDATZ: Reshma?

SAUJANI: Fail fast, fail hard, fail often.

MUNDY: Yes, persevere, expect setbacks and don't blame yourself for the setbacks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do the hard stuff. Take a risk, take a chance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I would say keep a sense of humor.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're going to have to.

Thanks, everyone.

And don't miss Rebecca Jarvis and her exclusive interview with G.M.'s CEO, Mary Barra. That's tomorrow on "GMA" and World News.

We're back after this.


RADDATZ: And now, we honor our fellow Americans who are serving and sacrificing.

This week, the Pentagon released the name of one soldier killed in Afghanistan.


In Memorium

SFC William K. Lacey, 38

U.S. Army, Laurel Hill, Florida.

RADDATZ: That's all for us today.

Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us.

Check out WORLD NEWS WITH DAVID MUIR with David Muir tonight.

Have a great day.


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