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STATE OF THE UNION WITH CANDY CROWLEY
Interview with Dianne Feinstein; Interview with Peter King; Interview with Jacob Lew
Aired July 28, 2013 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CANDY CROWLEY, HOST: Summer sex scandals light up the headlines on both coasts. And in the middle of the country, Motor City running on empty.
CROWLEY (voice-over): Today, watching Detroit die.
Is there a federal bailout for Detroit?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Candy, Detroit's got serious financial problems.
CROWLEY: Treasury secretary, Jack Lew, talks Detroit, the economy, and whether the administration wants more tax hikes.
Then, the dangerous divide in Egypt. U.S. efforts to get Russia to turn over NSA leaker, Edward Snowden, and the sex scandal rocking San Diego.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will be at the clinic full time. Though, every morning and evening, I will be briefed on city activities.
CROWLEY: Around the globe and inside politics with intelligence committee chair, California senator, Dianne Feinstein.
Plus, New York congressman, Peter King, on the Republican Party's search for itself, his flirtation with a 2016 presidential run, and the circus otherwise known as the New York City mayor's race.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many people want to talk about their future, not necessarily my past.
CROWLEY: Our free for all panel also weighs in on politicians behaving really badly. The Republican rift and the president's summer jobs tour.
I'm Candy Crowley. And this is STATE OF THE UNION.
CROWLEY (on-camera): More than 70 demonstrators have been killed and more than a thousand injured this weekend in Egypt, all of it during clashes between the military installed government and its supporters versus backers of ousted President Mohamed Morsy.
In a written statement, secretary of state, John Kerry, said the United States urges an independent and impartial inquiry into the events of the last day and calls on all of Egypt's leaders across the political spectrum to act immediately to help their country take a step back from the brink.
Joining me now is California senator, Dianne Feinstein. Thank you for joining us this morning, senator.
FEINSTEIN: You're welcome. CROWLEY: I just get the feeling that the U.S., despite these strong military contacts we hear all about the time between Egypt's military and the U.S. military, doesn't have a lot of sway in Egypt when you watch what's going on.
FEINSTEIN: Well, that may well be true, and I think this is a real point of definition of what kind of Egypt is going to come out of this. And, for the first time, I am very concerned. I'm surprised that the military would urge people to go to the streets. They had to have known, if they do that, the other side is going to respond, and it became kind of a catalyst for violence.
So, I don't think we know what kind of Egypt is going to emerge. I think it's very important for this new president and vice president to exert their authority now. It will show whether a democracy, in terms of civilian control of the military, can effectively govern that country. And so, the next few months, I think, are going to be real eye openers for the world.
CROWLEY: Senator, I just want to show a clip of recent what went on in the streets over the weekend. This is in Cairo, I believe. And again, we had more than 70 killed. We believe most of them killed by the military, which staged the coup of a democratically-elected president. As you know, when there is a coup of a democratically- elected leader, the U.S. generally can stop -- stops aid. But here's what the spokesperson for the secretary of state said this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: The law does not require us to make a formal determination. That is a review that we have undergone as to whether a coup took place, and it is not in our national interests to make such a determination.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: So, if it made the determination there was a coup, we'd have to stop aid, and therefore, they're just not going to make a determination because anybody plainly looking at this would say it was a coup. What does that say to the people fighting on the streets of Cairo about the U.S. and its values?
FEINSTEIN: Oh, I'm not sure it says anything to them candidly. You know, the region historically has been -- there've been many coups. I think the administration has been right. It has stopped the F-16s from being sold. I think we need to relook. We're right in the middle of the appropriations process now.
We have to relook at granting aid. I think the ball is in Egypt's court, and it's in the court of the President Mansour and the Vice President ElBaradei, and they have to step up, and they have to take over. Failing that --
CROWLEY: Both were installed by the military.
FEINSTEIN: Failing that, I think you know what military will do now.
CROWLEY: Right. I mean, both those men that you mentioned who are now running Egypt were installed by the military.
FEINSTEIN: Well, that's one thing, but acting is another thing, and they have to be --
CROWLEY: You want them to take charge of the military now?
FEINSTEIN: That's correct.
CROWLEY: Do you think they can?
FEINSTEIN: Well, we'll see. If they don't, they can't. If they do, they can.
CROWLEY: And if they don't, the U.S. needs to look at cutting off aid?
FEINSTEIN: Well, I think that may be the case.
CROWLEY: Let me move you to Russia, and Edward Snowden still in the airport, as far as we know, in Russia. The U.S. this week pushing very hard through the justice department saying, we're not going to torture him. He won't be subject to the death penalty. You need to hand him over. What are the chances that Russia's going to hand over Edward Snowden?
FEINSTEIN: Well, it's hard to tell. I know the president talked to President Putin. I would be very hopeful that President Putin still would decide to turn him over. I suspect this sort of temporary amnesty or refugee status is to give Russia time to really consider what's in their best interests, and I think, if they think about it hard, what Snowden did, it's not in their best interests.
And, Putin knows this. He's run the KGB. He knows what intelligence is comprised of. And, I think, to harbor this man is one of two things, one, we want to get hold of this stuff, or, two, we really want to take the time to figure this out as to whether we should return him to the United States.
CROWLEY: Do you think should Putin decide to grant him asylum in Russia, that the president ought to go ahead and go to the G-20 in St. Petersburg, that he has to go ahead and have a unilateral meeting with President Putin in September? FEINSTEIN: Well, I think -- don't think that's a way necessarily to show -- not to go does anything. I think that Obama really ought to sit down when he can with Putin and make the case. Here's what this man did --
CROWLEY: Do you think he should still go to Putin?
FEINSTEIN: Here's what this man did. By his own admission, he came to Booz Allen to be a contractor --
FEINSTEIN: I meant Snowden, yes. With the purpose of going in there and taking as much material as he possibly could. He took much more than I could possibly think he could. It's very sensitive data. And then, he went and strategically placed it so that it could come out at different times.
Then, he went to two big cyber-intruding powers, China and Russia, and left China and went to Russia. You've got to ask why did he choose those two? You've got to also ask, do the Chinese have all this material? Do the Russians have it?
CROWLEY: Do we know?
FEINSTEIN: We don't know.
CROWLEY: Oh, OK.
FEINSTEIN: So, it's a very serious situation.
CROWLEY: Let me move you on to something else. You recently signed a letter urging the president to let Janet Yellen who's currently number two at the Federal Reserve board, take over when Bernanke leaves. I want to play you just a little bit of my conversation With Treasury Secretary Lew, and I asked him about both Janet Yellen and Larry Summers, another name up for consideration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEW: Look, I know the people you've asked me about very well. They're both friends, and I have great admiration for both of them. I'm going to keep the conversation about any future decisions here where it belongs.
CROWLEY: Would they both make good fed chair?
LEW: I think they're both extraordinarily talented people.
CROWLEY: It's not exactly that they would both make a good fit?
LEW: I'm not going to comment on the fed.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CROWLEY: I'll ask you the same question, would either Yellen or Summers make a good fed chair?
FEINSTEIN: Yes. It's very hard for me to tell. Larry Summers had been very supportive of the era of deregulation, supporting derivatives and shorts and those kinds of thing. Janet Yellen has been close to Bernanke. I'm one that believes Bernanke has done a very good job. This country is moving ahead under partially Federal Reserve actions. And I think those ought to be continued for the foreseeable future. (CROSSTALK)
FEINSTEIN: I'm not pressuring him. I mean --
FEINSTEIN: Well, I was asked to sign and I signed, because I have met Janet Yellen on two occasions. I have followed her. She's very well thought of. She knows the fed, and she's very highly qualified. And I think a woman as head of the Federal Reserve, a qualified woman, would be a very positive thing for this administration.
CROWLEY: I want to turn to San Diego, Mayor Bob Filner, as you know, there's been already a lawsuit against him, a number of women have come out and said that he sexually harassed them. He came out, basically said, yes, my behavior has been bad. I'm going to go into rehab for two weeks, but I'll still stay as mayor and look at, you know, city business in the morning and in the evening. Should this man resign?
FEINSTEIN: Well, I think he should. I think he should. Of all people, Bob Filner knows what public life is like. He served a time in the House. Being the mayor of a big city, you're a role model for people. You're either inspirational to people or you aren't. It's a very tough job. And I don't think that somebody who is lacking a moral compass really sets a role model or really will provide the kind of leadership that San Diegans want.
FEINSTEIN: This is up to them. This kind of absence of a moral compass is subject to recall. I suspect there will be recalls, and the people will judge.
CROWLEY: You think he should make it easier and resign?
FEINSTEIN: I think he should make it easier and resign, that's right.
CROWLEY: Thank you so much.
FEINSTEIN: Very welcome. Thank you.
CROWLEY: Senator Dianne Feinstein, come by any time. Thank you.
FEINSTEIN: Thank you.
CROWLEY: When we return, Jack Lew and I look for the right adjective to describe the U.S. economy, and he hints at more taxes for more Americans. That's next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Threatening that you won't pay the bills in this country when we've already racked up those bills, that's not an economic plan. That's just being a dead beat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: President Obama traveled to Illinois, Missouri, and Florida this week touting the country's economic growth and promising to spend the rest of his second term on policies that will help the middle class. Republicans say they've heard it all before and want fresh ideas from the president.
CROWLEY: Treasury secretary, Jack Lew, is here. Thanks for coming by.
LEW: Good to be with you, Candy.
CROWLEY: Want to have a general question about the economy and play for you something the speaker of the House said this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The president pivoted this week to jobs, as he has been known to do on occasion, and under the president's leadership, our country has fallen into the new normal of slow growth, high unemployment, and stagnant wages. And I think it's unacceptable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: Take his characterization of the economy. Is there anything in there -- slow growth, would you agree with that?
LEW: You know, Candy, I think the characterization does not reflect where the economy is or where it's come from. I think, if you look at where this economy was four years ago, it was in free fall. We had --
CROWLEY: Right. He's not suggesting it is better than it was in, you know, that first year, but where is it now, right now?
LEW: I think, if you look at where it's come, we've had 40 months of job growth, four years of economic growth. The president's the first to say we'd like to grow faster and we'd like to be creating more jobs, and we need policies to do that. That's what he did this week. He gave a speech about what it takes to build a stronger, more vibrant middle class.
CROWLEY: Would you agree its slow growth?
LEW: The economy is showing signs of growth, and the resilience of the American economy and the American people is showing through. I think what the American people needs is for Washington to do its work, for Washington to stop creating crises, and for Washington to concentrate on the things that the president's spoke to last speech, making sure that the American family could have jobs, security in their home and in their health care, education for their children and a security retirement. And as soon as we can get on with that debate, the better.
CROWLEY: As you know, one of America's former great cities, Detroit, is trying to file for bankruptcy at any rate. Is there a federal bailout for Detroit?
LEW: Candy, Detroit's got serious financial problems. They've been a long time in the making. We stand with Detroit. And we've been working with them with technical advice, working with the kinds of normal programs the federal government has to see if there's anything we can do to help.
In the treasury department, I've made resources available helping to take down blighted properties, to help communities come back from the recession. I think the issues that Detroit has in terms of problems with its creditors, it's going to have to work out with its creditors.
CROWLEY: You know, we bailed out big banks. We bailed out the auto industry. We bailed out speculative home builders. And here is a major American city, whereby the way, the minority population of the overwhelming is the majority population. And there's no help from the federal government.
LEW: Let's be clear, candy. In the middle of the economic crisis, we were saving the American economy. We were in free fall. If we hadn't taken decisive action, we would have had a massively worse problem than what we even had. So, I think the situation in 2009/2010 was unique, and it's something that hopefully we never see again.
CROWLEY: But no major federal help that you can see for Detroit. That's different on its own.
LEW: Detroit and, you know, through the normal federal programs will continue to work with them.
CROWLEY: And Detroit has just sort of shrunk before our very eyes. This is something Detroit has to work out.
LEW: Detroit has serious challenges. We support Detroit and its efforts, but Detroit is going to have to work with its creditors.
CROWLEY: OK. Looking ahead for the next three years of the Obama administration, do you see more new taxes coming down the pike in any of those three years? LEW: You know, Candy, we've had debates about taxes for a long time in this country and in Washington. We made some progress at the beginning of this year. We've closed the gap by raising tax rates to the very high end. We still have a gap in terms of the amount of revenue we need to make sure we can support all the things that we do in this country.
CROWLEY: So, you want to do additional spending to create jobs, particularly, the infrastructure because that also helps businesses, et cetera. But the question is do you foresee that new taxes -- you're talking about a revenue shortage and if you've got a slow economy, there's only a couple of ways, you know?
LEW: Just to be clear on taxes, I think we have some areas of emerging -- not consensus, convergence of views. I think that there's a broad sense the tax code is too complex, that it should be simplified. There's a broad sense that there are loopholes and credits that make the system unfair and distort the economy.
CROWLEY: Let me ask you about the debt ceiling. When will we hit it?
LEW: You know, I think Washington pays entirely too much attention to trying to figure out the day we run out --
CROWLEY: I don't need to know the day. Just circa when do you think that is going to be necessary?
LEW: I've said publicly we can get through Labor Day. And obviously, as we get closer, we'll have a better sense. There is a great deal of danger of trying to pinpoint. Congress should act immediately. Let's remember, we hit the debt ceiling in May. We've been using extraordinary measures since May to pay our bills.
LEW: We'll do that for as long as we can.
There's the risk of trying to focus on the day that you might get it wrong, and Congress shouldn't wait until the last minute. They should just raise the debt limit and take away any cloud of uncertainty about the ability of the United States to pay its bills.
CROWLEY: You know Eliot Spitzer? I'm assuming. You know a lot of the same people, I'm assuming. He knows a lot about Wall Street. He's running for city comptroller in New York. What do you think?
LEW: I actually don't know Eliot Spitzer very well.
CROWLEY: Do you think from his qualifications, he seems like a guy that ought to be able to handle New York City and Wall Street?
LEW: I'm going to concentrate on national politics, not on New York politics.
CROWLEY: On that note, you won't even do national politics. OK. Thank you so much for --
CROWLEY: -- treasury secretary Jack Lew.
CROWLEY: When we return, Republican infighting over Snowden, NSA spying, and who should be the party standard bearer in 2016? New York congressman Pete King, who is eying that House on Pennsylvania Avenue is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. STEVE KING, (R) IOWA: For everyone who's a valedictorian, there's another hundred out there that they weigh 130 pounds, and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes, because they're hauling in 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.
I think the numbers support that. And so, no, I won't back up on that statement. I think it's important the people in Congress are able to objectively look at the data that's out there, the real facts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: That was Congressman Steve King who doubled down on that statement, saying that, yes, some immigrants without papers indeed are valedictorians, but others, as you heard, he talked about smuggling dope across the border.
Joining me now is New York Republican congressman, Pete King, no relation. Congressman King, let me start, because I think that that bite from -- congressman -- the other Congressman King, says -- speaks to one of the problems that the Republican Party may have in perception, and that is the harshness of its rhetoric. Where do you stand on that particular statement?
P. KING: I strongly disagree with what Steve King said. I agree with Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor who both denounced the statement. We have to address the immigration issue in an intelligent way and a humane way. I have some strong concerns about 11 million people who violated the law to come into the country. The reality is many of them are very good people.
Most of them are good people. We have to find a way to address it. My concern is, if we can ensure that we have very strong security at the border, then we have to find a way to accommodate those 11 million under the assurance that it's not going to be another 11 million in five years, but these are -- you know, we are a nation of immigrants.
We have to find a way to accommodate security with realizing that there are people living here. I think that's what John Boehner wants to do. That's what the Senate tried to do. We have to find a way to bring that together. We can't be talking at any type of inflammatory language. It doesn't help anybody.
CROWLEY: Congressman, am I wrong -- and I'm going to name a couple of subjects here. Am I wrong at looking at what's going on in a variety of subjects? And we are seeing a party struggling for its soul and what it stands for. You've got a part of your party that doesn't want immigration reform in any way shape, or form of what the Senate passed.
You have a party that was split on whether to bring down some of the money given to the NSA, given the kind of surveillance that it's doing. You have a party that's split on how to approach the debt ceiling, which is coming up, should you demand more cuts before you raise the debt ceiling, and you have a party that's split on whether, in fact, government spending should continue into the new fiscal year with Obamacare.
You have folks in your party saying, unless Obamacare is defunded, we won't keep the government in business. Aren't those all signs of a party that's really split?
P. KING: Well, a healthy debate can be good, but one of the issues you mentioned there about the NSA, I thought it was absolutely disgraceful that so many Republicans voted to defund the NSA program, which has done so much to protect our country. This is an isolation streak that's in our party.
It goes totally against the party of Eisenhower, and Reagan, Bush. I mean, we are a party of national defense. We're a party who did so much to protect the country over the last 12 years.
CROWLEY: But where's the real Republican Party? Which one of those -- where's the real Republican Party?
P. KING: I think we're going to find that out over the next three years. I want the Republican Party to be a party of strong national defense and a party, for instance, which can reach out to labor unions such as construction unions, police officers, firefighters. These are people who are socially conservative and want to agree with us, and so many people in our party drive them away.
But to me, the overriding concern here has to be national defense, national security, and not be apologizing for America. When you have Rand Paul actually comparing Snowden to Martin Luther King or Henry David Thoreau, this is madness. This is the anti-war, left-wing Democrats of the 1960s that nominated George McGovern and destroyed their party for almost 20 years. I don't want that happening to our party.
CROWLEY: Congressman, there have been two statements made by various republicans. One is that, if Congress does not pass some kind of major immigration reform, it cannot re-win the White House. And the other is, if Republicans in the House shut down the government in order -- because they want to defund Obamacare, it will ruin the Republican Party. Do you agree with both those statements?
P. KING: I don't know if it will ruin the Republican Party. First of all, on the second one, we should not be closing down the government under any circumstances. That doesn't work. It's wrong. And you know, Obamacare passed. We have to try to defund it. We have to try to find ways to repeal it. The fact is we shouldn't be using it as a threat to shut down the government.
As far as immigration, I think we have to show good faith in trying to find a legislation that works, and I think right now we are going in that direction. Listen, the president had four years on immigration and did absolutely nothing. I would say you've seen a lot of movement over the last six months in the Senate with largely -- or with strong Republican help, a bill did pass. I don't fully agree with that bill. I think we can find ways to make that bill work. You do find people in the House who want it to work. But I would put the debt ceiling in a different category. There's no reason to be threatening to bring down the government. Let's make this work. Let's get spending cuts we need. The American people get turned off with the threat of terror politics.
CROWLEY: Congressman, finally, what do you think it says about New York City that former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who you served with in Congress from different parties, is still running second in the polls for the Democratic primary in New York City? P. KING: It's a terrible aberration. We have a city in New York, the greatest city in the world. Over the last 30-something years, we had Ed Koch was mayor for 12 years, Rudy Giuliani for 8, Mike Bloomberg for 12, outstanding giants of men who really did so much to bring New York City back, and to have Anthony Weiner who really -- again, I have nothing personal against Anthony. We know he's getting along. I have nothing personal with this. This is a real pathological problem here with him. I mean how he could be out there knowing all this information was going to come out. I just think it was sort of a perverse celebrity factor for a while to have his numbers up there. I just can't see any way, even if this latest scandal would not have come out, that Anthony Weiner could have won. After this, I think he should do himself and everybody a favor and just step to the sidelines. He is not qualified -- not psychologically qualified to be mayor of the city of New York.
CROWLEY: Congressman, I hope you'll stand by for a moment.
CROWLEY: I want to bring in our panel, which includes nationally syndicated radio host Chris Plante, CNN political commentator Paul Begala, and Ana Navarro, and Cornell Belcher. I want to first talk because he's giving us a lot of fodder here. But I want to first talk about this split within the Republican Party and I think the congressman said it very well. We'll find out in the next three years what's the real Republican Party. Where's it going to land?
CHRIS PLANTE, FORMER CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, that remains to be seen. But honestly, it's a perfectly healthy debate. The things that they're debating, the things that they are split on, the rest of the Congress should be split on too. The American people are split on these issues. Should we be spied on for our own good, for our own safety by the NSA, or should we find another way around that doesn't violate the Fourth Amendment and contribute to creating a surveillance state and a police state that we're building right now in the name of our personal security, our national security and our personal safety.
CROWLEY: The truth is there were Democrats -
P. KING: Can I say something on that? Can I say something on that?
P. KING: There was absolutely - there's no spying going on. This has been held by the courts through total compliance with the Fourth Amendment. And that type of irrational rhetoric gets us nowhere. The fact is, this works. It has protected us, and it's not violating the rights of one American. Not one American's right has been violated. It's irresponsible to be coming out with those ridiculous statements.
CROWLEY: I'll let you - I'll let you respond to irrational, and then we'll go to Cornell.
PLANTE: Listen, when we're scanning every piece of mail that goes through the post office, we're keeping the phone logs on every phone call made, we're collecting e-mails, we're collecting Google searches. We've got cameras everywhere.
P. KING: We are not collecting e-mails.
PLANTE: What we are --
P. KING: We're not collecting e-mails.
CROWLEY: That is true. OK. Let me --
CORNELL BELCHER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think you see the sort of Republican Party in-fighting here on your show right now. It is really understandable that America is changing, and I think a lot of this has to do with the Republicans, how they're reacting to the changing of America. Unfortunately for us in Congress right now, you have this civil war unfolding in Congress, and it's making Congress completely dysfunctional. America, your Congress does not work because of this civil war that's going on.
CROWLEY: Although there will be Republicans, Paul, who say that is work. We're stopping things we think are bad for America.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right. But it's not working for them certainly politically. I checked. Party identification. The percentage of Americans who call themselves Republicans, all time low, lower than Watergate, only 21 percent, say that they're Republicans today. That's a catastrophe, and here's why. There's two things going on at once, and it's really unusual to have them happen simultaneously. Republicans have become more ideologically conservative, they move farther from the mainstream, and they're more fractured. Usually when you become more extreme, either more left in my party or more right in the Republicans, you at least get some cohesion. Here you have a much more conservative party than 20 years ago and a much more fractured party. The Neanderthals are fighting with the Cro-Magnons, the neoliths (ph) fight the paleoliths (ph). It's great. I love it as a Democrat.
CROWLEY: Are you the Cro-Magnon? Or are you?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I'm very happy to be a modern Hispanic woman Republican from Miami. Now, let me just tell you, I think that this in-fighting goes on in both parties. The great difference is that the Democrats have a president who is the leading voice. Because if you think the NSA debate is not going on in the Democratic Party, you're fooling yourself. It is. And a lot of other debates are going also in the Democratic Party.
I think Congressman King is absolutely right that Republicans are going to decide in the next 2 1/2 years as we go and have a nominee who is going to carry them and be the standard bearer, and I want to commend Congressman King, the king from New York who is actually the king I like, and I want to commend Speaker Boehner and Representative Cantor for having come out this week and done what they've had to do, show leadership and speak and denounce against the hateful, ignorant rhetoric of Steve King. It is enough. We have had enough of this man. He does not define the Republican Party. I think there's many more Peter Kings. There's many more John Boehners in Congress than there are Steve Kings. This is a man who's a mediocre congressman who makes news only when he says something this inflammatory.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you really feel, Ana? How do you really feel?
CROWLEY: Congressman, I want to just let you just close up this section anyway and ask you, if you should be the standard bearer for the party in 2016, what do you do to assuage a considerable portion of the party that does have conservative views that is represented by the other Congressman King?
P. KING: I don't think it's a question of being conservative. I think it's following a path of Ronald Reagan, I think it's showing we're an inclusive party. We have very strong conservative values, very strong national defense. But on the other hand we don't have to do it with a scowl and we don't have to be demonizing other people. The only other person I would demonize, I would keep Paul Begala out of the White House if I were president. Other than that -
NAVARRO: He's making a lot of money outside the White House. He doesn't want to go back there.
P. KING: Candy, I think we do have a good national debate, whoever the standard bearer is. I would certainly like to be. We'll see how that goes. I think the party will go in the right direction, the country go in the right direction, and we can have a healthy debate with two legitimate candidates, not fringes like Rand Paul in 2016.
CROWLEY: Got you. Congressman Peter King out of New York, thank you for joining us. Next time come down to...
P. KING: Thank you.
CROWLEY: ... Washington, and we'll seat you around the table. Appreciate it. Everyone else, we need you to stand by.
P. KING: Thank you.
CROWLEY: When we return, 3 million and counting Brazilians flock to Copacabana beach for mass with Pope Francis.
CROWLEY: That right there is a live picture of Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, where massive crowds have gathered to celebrate mass with Pope Francis. I want to bring in CNN's Miguel Marquez, who is there as well. Quite a sight, Miguel.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is stunning to behold, the crowds from the very end of the sea, from where the waves are crashing up on Copacabana beach all the way into the neighborhood itself. The officials here are telling us, it's 3 million plus. I think they just stopped counting. It wasn't supposed to be here. They had to move to this site because of terrible rain. It's very difficult for them to get a sense of just how many people are gathered here, but blowing through all expectations, Candy.
CROWLEY: He's about to address World Youth Day. What's his message?
MARQUEZ: Very simply, go out and make disciples of all nations. What he means by that is go out to your homes, wherever you live, don't be afraid, and serve. Serve the church. Go out and do things for the church that you have not done before. He is encouraging people to literally be more missionary in their nature, something that the church hasn't done for some time, hoping that this will bring people back into the church, or at least, at least, give the church a second look, which I think is probably happening here right now, Candy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: Miguel Marquez, thank you so much. More with our panel next. Politicians behaving badly. Is it something in the water? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIOT SPITZER, FORMER NEW YORK GOVERNOR: Look, I failed big time. I hurt a lot of people.
ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK MAYORAL CANDIDATE: These things are deeply wrong, deeply regret them, worked through them with my wife. They're behind me.
MAYOR BOB FILNER (D), SAN DIEGO: My failure to respect women and the intimidating conduct I engage in at times is inexcusable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: We're back with Chris Plante, Paul Begala, Ana Navarro, and Cornell Belcher. I want to first just ask you about the president's jobs tour. Gave three speeches over this past week. He is really gearing up, first of all, for next year's elections, but second of all, for the fights this September, which we talked about with Peter King.
I want to show you a recent poll where Americans were asked, do you approve or disapprove of the president's handling of the economy? 45 percent approve. 49 percent disapprove. And yet there is a feeling, as we go into this, that the people holding the cards is the White House.
PLANTE: I'm surprised those numbers are that good, quite honestly. I mean the economy is stuck in a rut. It has been since the president arrived in Washington. His tour, his economics tour, offers absolutely nothing new. Even "The Washington Post" is mocking the content of this. It's about dividing the country once again in preparation for another food fight in Washington, and it's about the midterm elections.
BELCHER: I'm sorry. What was the unemployment number when the president took office? How many jobs a month were we losing when he took office? We have created seven million jobs since 2010. So to say that, we're in a rut and we continue to be in a rut kind of misses the facts.
PLANTE: "The New York Times" says that the real unemployment rate, counting people that gave up looking and took part-time jobs to keep the lights on is 13.8 percent.
BELCHER: So we're going to keep moving -
PLANTE: For a record period of time it's been about 7 percent. We've got more people living in poverty than at any point in American history.
BEGALA: What's the big drag on the economy right now? PLANTE: Obamacare?
BEGALA: No. It's the sequester. If you talk to any economist. Well -- forgive me for actually reading economists, right?
BEGALA: The economists say that actually a private sector growing quite healthily under President Obama's policies, but the government sector is shrinking too much, too fast, and it's crimping our growth. We would have a whole point of GDP more if we weren't going through the sequester and these ridiculous -
NAVARRO: President Obama had a very rough start to his second term. It's been one scandal after another, even though he considered them phony scandals, I don't think when Americans died, I don't think there's anything phony about that. And I think he has to somehow re- focus on the economy which continues being the number one issue. Because it's gotten better, by it's not has not gotten good.
BEGALA: That's why if you read or watch his speech in Galesburg, this past week, that's what he did. While everybody else was obsessing about what we're about to obsess about, politicians behaving badly, there he was talking about a better bargain for the middle class. I love that speech.
CROWLEY: I do want to say that the phony scandals, everybody came away with the impression that he's talking about what the IRS, Benghazi? Snooping on the reporters? What are the phony scandals?
BELCHER: But the corruption thing -- this is the problem for Washington. This is why we keep kicking the can down the road, because Congress does one thing really well, and it is chase scandals. They haven't moved any legislation to help the economy, but they are chasing scandals, and the president wants us to focus us back on what's important. And what America is really concerned about is wage stagnation. The middle class is shrinking, and we've got to focus on growing the middle class.
BELCHER: That's what he should be talking about.
CROWLEY: I must say I'm not sure if there had been no scandals that they would have gotten any further on the economy. Nonetheless there are --
PLANTE: They disagree - they disagree fundamentally on what approach to take. The president has had more than a full term to fix the economy. He hasn't. We're talking about another 10 years before we're back at the unemployment levels of the Bush administration. That's a 16-year recovery. Normally you come out of a recession, it's 16 months for a recovery. This is a jobless recovery.
BELCHER: People are arguing that somehow our economy is not recovering is beyond belief. You can't have an honest conversation with someone -
PLANTE: Look, President Obama's policy has been tried again and again here, in European countries of Italy and Spain and Ireland, and we see that they have produced the same result every single time.
BEGALA: So we're not creating jobs?
PLANTE: No. Not fast enough to keep up with people entering the workforce, and you know it.
CROWLEY: We are creating jobs, but not enough jobs.
BEGALA: Of course we're not creating enough jobs, but he said we're not creating jobs.
PLANTE: That's not what I said. I said, we're not keeping pace with people coming into the workforce, and the numbers are terrible numbers.
NAVARRO: Candy's moving on.
CROWLEY: That's right. Candy's moving on here to your favorite subject, men behaving badly. I mean, this is to me a nutty subject. Anthony Weiner has now lost his - one of his -
NAVARRO: Mind. He's lost his mind.
CROWLEY: And continues on, why?
BEGALA: He's not an incumbent -- he's not the mayor of New York, he's just a guy who wants to run for office. I think he has the perfect right to. I don't think he's going to win. I don't think he's got the slightest chance in the world. This is different from San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who has obligations in office. You just saw the senior, most popular, and powerful politician in his state tell you in the last 30 minutes that he should resign. That's a very big deal. But those are two different things. Anybody can run for anything, that doesn't mean you get to win, and I don't think Weiner will.
CROWLEY: You don't feel like as a Democrat like, OK. You're kind of embarrassing-- BELCHER: How about as a man? As a man, it's embarrassing. But if you look at men behaving badly, from Sanford, who just won a seat back in Congress, you have a whole list of men behaving badly. You know who this helps? It helps a lot of women who want to run for office. It helps a lot of women who want to run for office.
CROWLEY: A silver lining.
NAVARRO: Let me just tell you, first of all I think it's almost sacrilegious to be talking about Pope Francis and these folks in the same program, God forgive me. Forgive us please. But saying that, I think, you know, Anthony Weiner's need for exhibitionism is such that he wants to run. And I think - I think it's almost like they're seeking redemption by election. Because they knew this was going to come out. It was bound to come out and this is just - this makes no sense.
PLANTE: The Democratic Party defining deviancy down, the fact that you don't say Wiener needs to get out of the race, Spitzer should get out of the race. Filner should get out of the race.
BEGALA: They're not doing it because they're Democrats.
PLANTE: -- reaching across the aisle.
CROWLEY: 15 seconds, Paul. BEGALA: What's the beneficiary of all of this, Bob McDonnell, the Republican governor of Virginia who's in a plain old financial scandal for getting gifts, loans, and looks like inappropriate -
PLANTE: You've got a flasher, so you're going to accept the flasher and the groper--
NAVARRO: That's the best spin I have seen on T.V. all day.
CROWLEY: We got to go. We got to go. I got to go. We'll do this later. Thank you, though. I really appreciate it. Paul Begala, Ana Navarro, and Cornell Belcher, come back.
CROWLEY: When we return, more than 1,000 prisoners on the loose in Benghazi.
CROWLEY: Here's a look at today's headlines, in Libya, the search is on for nearly 1,200 inmates who escaped from a prison in Benghazi. Libya's prime minister claims the prisoners went loose on Friday after nearly residents storm the facility because they don't want a prison in their neighborhood. About 18 inmates have been captured and a few others have surrendered.
A bus crash in Indianapolis has left three people dead. The bus was returning from a church camp in Michigan on Saturday and was less than a mile from its destination when it hit a concrete barrier and flipped over, 17 others were injured. Most of the passengers on board were teenagers. Rescuers say, the bus driver told them his brakes failed.
A man has been arrested in connection with a boat accident that left a bride-to-be dead. The 35-year-old Jojo John who was the operator of the boat has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and three counts of vehicular assaults. The incident late Friday on the Hudson River killed bride to be Lindsey Stewart, the fiance's best man, Mark Lennon, remains missing.
Former Louisiana congresswoman Lindy Boggs has died. Boggs took her husband's seat in Congress after her husband died in a plane crash. She went on to server nine terms and was known as an advocate for women's right. After her congressional career she served as the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. Boggs was also the mother of journalist Cookie Roberts. Lindy Boggs was 97-years-old.
Those are your headlines. Thanks for watching STATE OF THE UNION.
I'm Candy Crowley in Washington. Head to CNN.com/SOTU for more of my interview with Treasury secretary, Jack Lew.
And tonight on CNN the secret service didn't know that President Ronald Reagan had been shot until they got him in the car. Their escape and the moments following it were critical. See the rest of the story in an all new episode of CRIMES OF THE CENTURY tonight at 9:00 P.M. Eastern and Pacific.
Fareed Zakaria, GPS, starts right now.