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Meet the Press Transcript - April 12, 2015

CHUCK TODD (V/O):

This Sunday, she's in it to win it again.

HILLARY CLINTON:

I am all about new beginnings. Another new hairstyle, a new email account.

CHUCK TODD (V/O):

Hillary announces today while this time her biggest opponent may be herself. Also, Rand in the race.

RAND PAUL:

I think the thing is about the Clintons is that there's a certain sense that they think they're above the law.

CHUCK TODD (V/O):

But after this week, some are asking whether he has the temperament to be president. I'll bring you my interview with the senator from Kentucky. Plus, cameras on cops and that police shooting in South Carolina.

JUDY SCOTT:

I saw him running like you would kill an animal.

CHUCK TODD (V/O):

How would that story have been covered if no one had come forward with the video? I'm Chuck Todd and joining me to provide insight and analysis this Sunday morning are David Brooks of The New York Times, Maria Hinojosa, host of NPR's Latino USA, the mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and radio talk show host, Hugh Hewitt. Welcome to Sunday, it's Meet the Press.

ANNOUNCER:

From NBC News in Washington, this is Meet the Press, with Chuck Todd.

CHUCK TODD:

Good morning. It's unsurprising and predictable, but it is big news just the same. Hillary Clinton is making official what everyone knew was inevitable. She is running for president of the United States again. This time, she hopes to do it with a lighter touch, on Twitter and Facebook sometime this afternoon.

It'll be less 2008, and more 2000, when she ran that successful campaign for U.S. office, New York Senate. Officially, the campaign is called Hillary for America, a not-so-subtle allusion to President Obama's two successful campaigns. In a moment, we'll talk to the campaign manager of Hillary Clinton's successful Senate run. The man who is now mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio. But first, let's take a look at the beginning of a campaign that in which Hillary Clinton's biggest opponent may very well be Hillary Clinton.

(BEGIN TAPE)

HILLARY CLINTON:

I am in. I'm in to win. I'm in. I'm in to win. I'm running for president and I'm in it to win it.

CHUCK TODD (V/O):

On social media today and in Iowa this week, Clinton will attempt to do what she failed to do eight years ago, go small.

DAVID AXELROD:

She launched as Clinton Inc., it was a juggernaut suffused with presumptions of inevitability and entitlement. And it was the wrong approach. Humility is the order of today.

CHUCK TODD (V/O):

Eight years ago, Clinton toured Iowa by air.

HILLARY CLINTON:

I'm having a great time on the helicopter.

CHUCK TODD (V/O):

And dismissed early state activists.

HILLARY CLINTON:

You know my sense of caucus states. They are primarily dominated by activists. They don't represent the electorate.

CHUCK TODD:

This time, she'll stop in Iowa living rooms. The model, say Clinton advisors, her 2000 campaign for Senate in New York, where she reintroduced herself with a listening tool.

ANITA DUNN:

She became an effective candidate, where voters thought they were connecting with her authentic self. When they felt she was really speaking from her heart and from her gut and not from talking points.

HILLARY CLINTON:

I just don't want to see us fall backwards.

CHUCK TODD (V/O):

Hillary Clinton's challenge is not all that different from sitting vice presidents, like George H. W. Bush in 1987, or Al Gore in 1999. How to create a first impression again.

HILLARY CLINTON:

I am all about new beginnings. Another new hairstyle, a new email account.

CHUCK TODD (V/O):

But can a candidate who's been in the public eye for more than two decades really reinvent herself? And can she do what Ted Kennedy could not do three decades ago, articulate a compelling message?

ROGER MUDD:

Why do you want to be president?

DAVID AXELROD:

Well, one of my complaints for this year were two of, "Ready for Hillary" emails, is that it wasn't clear what you were ready for.

CHUCK TODD (V/O):

Clinton advisors say her campaign will center on boosting economic security for working families, and casting Clinton as a tenacious fighter able to get results.

CHRIS LEHANE:

I anticipate that she's going to begin the campaign with an actual genuine, big idea, that you are going to focus specifically on the middle class.

CHUCK TODD (V/O):

As Clinton tries to prove inevitable does not mean she's taking anything for granted.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

I'm joined now by New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio. He actually served as Hillary Clinton's campaign manager when she ran successfully for the Senate in 2000. Mayor de Blasio, welcome back to Meet the Press.

BILL DE BLASIO:

Good morning, Chuck.

CHUCK TODD:

So let me ask you about what you're hearing about how she's launching her campaign, that it's all about copying the blueprint you put together in 2000. Smart?

BILL DE BLASIO:

Well, there's certainly a team effort in 2000 and it worked. And one of the important points was she did go out and listened to what was happening to everyday people. And I think that's going to be more necessary this year than ever before, because people in this country are hurting. The Great Recession set people back on their heels in a way we have not seen in decades and decades. I think it's important for Hillary to hear those stories of the American people, I think it will make her a stronger candidate.

CHUCK TODD:

You have wanted to talk about pushing her more to a progress agenda, you're not alone here. There's a lot of Democrats on the progressive side of the party that are trying to push her in that direction. I've had somebody say to me, they hope it's Hillary Rodham that runs for president, and not Hillary Clinton. What say to that?

BILL DE BLASIO:

Look, I think she has a very progressive history. We certainly saw that in her early work on behalf of children and families. We saw that when she took on the big insurance companies to try and achieve health care reform in the early 1990s. There's a lot there that progressives will appreciate that, look, here's the bottom line: the income and equality crisis in this country is out of control.

The worst income inequality since the Great Depression, depression getting worse. A typical American family, in real income terms, is making less today than they were a quarter century ago. That has to be addressed. I think progressives all over the country, I think everyday Americans are demanding that their candidates, the president and every other level, really say that we have a plan that we can believe in for addressing income inequality.

It has to include progressive taxation. It has to include increases in wages and benefits. It has to include the willingness to tax the wealthy so we can invest infrastructure, so we can invest in education again. That's what I think progressives and everyday Americans will be looking for from Hillary and all other candidates.

CHUCK TODD:

Look, there's a lot of Democrats that are worried that she doesn't yet have a message that it's not clear that she's answered the "why" question. Brent Budowsky, for The Hill, a former Democratic Capitol Hill aide, somebody who wants to see Hillary Clinton become president, writes this: "American voters don't want to be sold a new Hillary, which is reminiscent of an earlier politician whose handles invented the term 'New Nixon.' They want to be trusted enough to be let into the world of the really Hillary, informed enough about her vision and plans for America to believe their lives will be made better if she is elected president." How does she make her message the star if right when she announces later today, it's a video, and she's listening, there's no big idea yet?

BILL DE BLASIO:

Well, Chuck, I think it's important that she come out with her vision as soon as possible, but there's certainly time. It's only April of 2015. I think the reality here is there's a tremendous opportunity for her to present a vision because of how different the circumstances are today, than when she was last a candidate. 2008 was a very different time.

We've now had the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Again, families far and backwards economically, tremendous economic-gained security, people who do not assume now across the country the next generation will be better, and the economic recovery we've seen, most of that, 95% of all additional earnings since this recovery have gone to the top 1% of Americans. In that context, there's a lot of new material. There's a lot of new issues for Hillary to address. And it's the chance for her to offer a bold lead.

CHUCK TODD:

Obviously, her opponents are going to try to make her a candidate of the past. Rand Paul, we're going to give you a first look here, Rand Paul's first TV ad is an attack on Hillary Clinton. Here's a quick clip, I want to get you to react to it.

FEMALE VOICE (ON AD):

What path will America take? Will it be a path to the past? A road to yesterday? To a place we’ve been to before? Hillary Clinton represents the worst of the Washington machine.

CHUCK TODD:

How does she overcome? Again, this is Rand Paul's first ad that he's going to run in the early states later this week. Presidential campaigns are about the future. Her last name, obviously, signifies the past. How does she deal with that?

BILL DE BLASIO:

I think the substance and division does it. Look, Rand Paul Republicans at this point, are the party of trickle-down economics. And that is fair of the American people. Too many Democrats have not offered an alternative. And you know I believe strongly that that's what happened in 2014. Democrats did not offer a progressive economic vision.

And voters didn't move to Democrats, in fact, a lot of Democratic voters stayed home because they didn't hear anything meaningful from their fellow Democratic candidates. So I think there's an opportunity here to break with the past, to break with what's wrong in Washington by offering a bold reason that actually talks to what the American people are going through.

Look, progressives around the country are saying this. This is going to be an effect that'll create almost a primary-like dynamic on the substance. Progressives are demanding from all of our candidates an actual vision on economic change.

We had a meeting of progressive leaders at Gracie Mansion last week, we're going to offer it next month, a progressive contract with America to say, "If you're serious, you've got to be ready to tax the wealthy, you've got to be ready to raise wages and benefits, you've got to be ready to have tax fairness in this country." And I think that is a chance to say, "Hey, we're going to break with a Washington formula that failed the people of this country over the last quarter century.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, in the last quarter century, they'll have had a Clinton as president for eight years of that last quarter century, so that's going to be difficult. Let me ask you this, are you for her now, unequivocally? Or do you want to wait to see if she takes your advice on moving to a more progressive agenda?

BILL DE BLASIO:

I think like a lot of people in this country, I want to see a vision. And again, that would be true of candidates on all levels. It's time to see a clear, bold vision for progressives--

CHUCK TODD:

But you're technically not yet endorsing her?

BILL DE BLASIO:

No, not until I see, and again, I would say this about any candidate, until I see an actual vision of where they want to go. I think she's a tremendous public servant. I think she is one of the most qualified people to ever run for this office. And by the way, thoroughly vetted, we can say that. But we need to see the substance.

CHUCK TODD:

All right. Do you want to see her get a tough primary?

BILL DE BLASIO:

I think, again, what's happening now almost synthesizes some of the reality of the primary. Clearly what's happening with the rest of the wing of the Democratic party is a demand for our candidates to come forward with a vision. That's creating some of the same positive pressure you see in the primary process. She doesn't need to be vetted. I think we can safely say that. But I think she has to address the issues and that can be done with or without a primary.

CHUCK TODD:

Mayor Bill de Blasio, the first campaign manager for Hillary Clinton when she first ran for office, thanks for coming on Meet the Press.

BILL DE BLASIO:

Thank you, Chuck.

CHUCK TODD:

Let me bring in the panel, David Brooks, Maria Hinojosa, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Hugh Hewitt. All right Maria, a vision. That was interesting there. Mayor de Blasio, her first campaign manager. Still not ready to, like, technically endorse her because of this, you know, you talk a lot to the progressive community, is there a real hesitance? Or is it just sort of trying to pressure her you think?

MARIA HINOJOSA:

I think you see the hesitancy right there. I mean, he was her campaign manager. You would expect him to say, "I'm in."

CHUCK TODD:

"I'm in." Gung ho, right.

MARIA HINOJOSA:

So what I'm hearing at least from, for example, immigration activists, is that they want to continue to push to a more progressive side of things. And that's going to come in interesting ways. But ultimately, it comes down to those questions, humility and authenticity, how do you make that happen?

I'll just tell you, the one time that I saw Hillary Clinton, and I've covered her a lot, but the one time when it really clicked was when there were no cameras, she had barely no makeup on, she had, like, you know, a little gloss and some mascara, and had just flown in. And she was speaking from the heart because she knew she wasn't being covered. How do you replicate that?

CHUCK TODD:

You know, how many, David, you've probably heard story after story now. We've all been off the record with her, where there-- there is this very warm person and she struggles in the public light. But I'm curious, there's a whole bunch of polls this week.

I want to show them to you, about honest and trustworthy with Hillary Clinton. In Iowa, upside down. In Virginia, even worse, a majority in Virginia don't view her as honest and trustworthy, Colorado, even worse at 56%. This is part, a little bit of the authenticity issue, but obviously, you know, the email issue.

DAVID BROOKS:

I'm waiting to see if Bill Clinton is ready to endorse Hillary. Whether he’s still on the fence there

CHUCK TODD:

Were you surprised at Mayor de Blasio?

DAVID BROOKS:

I was surprised.

CHUCK TODD:

Yeah.

DAVID BROOKS:

It's the pressure thing. You know, I think she's not going to win the authenticity, the integrity, the honesty thing, unless she has issues. I think that's what de Blasio's saying. The most underappreciated skill for a politician is imagination. The ability to put new things together in new ways, to have creativity.

She's shown a lot of great skill over the course of her career. She's not shown that one. And I think they're asking her to show some skills and offer a package. And the instinct from the campaign staff has said, "You've got a monopoly here. Let's not put out anything. It'll give people something to attack. Let's hang back. Just be grandma." But that is the wrong strategy, I think. I think de Blasio's right.

CHUCK TODD:

This goes back to her being risk-averse, Madam Mayor. That's her history, she's a very, very cautious person.

MARIA HINOJOSA:

I think she's right to be cautious. But when you see the retread of Republicans’ arguments, it's just frustrating because I always say, all the things that they say are wrong about Hillary Clinton doesn't make any of the Republican arguments or any of the candidates any better. You know, I think the thing that's strong about the Democratic party is we have a solid field (?). And we're excited about Hillary Clinton, we're excited about all of the other people that--

CHUCK TODD:

Maria, are you endorsing her?

MARIA HINOJOSA:

As DNC secretary, I cannot.

CHUCK TODD:

Okay, fair enough. I just wanted to get that out.

MARIA HINOJOSA:

But I am proud. I am very proud. And I don't think you should read too much into de Blasio's comments, because people don't want a coronation. And I think when you ask someone to come out ahead of her announcement, that's what that speaks to. People want a race. People want to hear from her. And I think that's what she's saying.

CHUCK TODD:

Hugh, the Republican party this morning, they made sure they came in, they said they had something the RNC called, "StopHillary.GOP." They sent out a little thumb drive that they claim have her email. They're getting T-shirts. They went to all the news divisions this morning and did this. You know, I look at sort of an obsession on the right of beating Obama and beating Bill Clinton over the years, and I think, "They're oh for four." Is there a point where you do this too much?

HUGH HEWITT:

Oh no. Not with Hillary. That was a little surreal when the mayor said she'd been thoroughly vetted. That was the talking point that they'd asked her, I think, to make sure they got out there. Because of course she hasn't been thoroughly vetted. Brent Budowsky calling her "The New Nixon," reminded me this is like a "new Coke" moment as well.

And it's actually kind of a "Weekend at Bernie's" moment. I think they're afraid that they have a candidate that they have to prop up from now until November of '16, that there isn't any substance, there isn't any charisma, and most of all, she's not trustworthy. And that's what those plans she showed, Quinnipiac polls. She fails on the trustworthy question again and again.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, it does seem as if this is a challenge for her, to sort of break out of this.

DAVID BROOKS:

Yeah. And how far left she goes is the big one. You know, there is the massive inequality problem. But Democrats have not persuaded the country that their move is the solution to it. And if you're especially among whites with high school degrees, who she needs in Ohio and places like that, they're falling and she has to make the case for it.

CHUCK TODD:

Right.

STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE:

But more infighting isn't the answer either. I mean, I think what we're hearing is more of the same.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, and then they would argue, the Clintons, they would rather be a loud argument. They think they know how to win that campaign. All right, we're going to pause here, we're going to talk more Hillary Clinton later in the show. I promise you. But in a moment, secretary of State, John Kerry. Why do the U.S. and Iran have such different ideas on what they supposedly agreed to on Iran's nuclear program? Right after this.

***Commercial Break***

CHUCK TODD:

And hello. It was unthinkable just years ago, but President Obama has hailed a meeting this weekend with Cuba's Raúl Castro, brother of Fidel. As a moment, that will turn the page between the U.S. and that old Cold War enemy just off the coast of Florida. The meeting comes as the countries gradually normalize relations. To talk to you about and Iran, I'm joined now by the secretary of the State, John Kerry. Mr. Secretary, welcome back to Meet the Press.

SECRETARY JOHN KERRY:

Thank you. Glad to be with you.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, let's clarify something. There has been anonymous sources that say you have recommended taking Cuba off the state sponsor of terrorism list to the president. Have you done that?

SECRETARY JOHN KERRY:

Well, Chuck, as you well know, I don't discuss publicly whatever advice or recommendations I make to the president. So the president will make his decision at an appropriate time. We have forwarded the recommendation of the State Department and it now is in the interagency process. And he will make the decision.

CHUCK TODD:

If there, I take it though, the fact that there's a process means you've recommended a change?

SECRETARY JOHN KERRY:

Well, either way, it has to be evaluated, Chuck. So I'm not going to tip my hand as to what we're doing, but we've made a recommendation.

CHUCK TODD:

Let me move to Iran, because Iran is on the state sponsor of terror list. How is it that you can do a nuclear agreement and trust a country to abide by that agreement that you also believe, that our government believes is a state sponsor of terror?

SECRETARY JOHN KERRY:

Well, the bottom line is the word you used: trust. We don't trust. There is no element of trust in what we're doing. You have to build trust, and that takes place over a long period of time. This is an agreement that is based on transparency, accountability, verification. You have to be able to know what is happening.

And we believe, you know, the president's responsibility and my responsibility in support of him, is to guarantee and protect the security of our country and of our friends and allies. And we believe that this agreement does that. We know that the American people overwhelmingly would like to see if we could resolve this question of Iran's nuclear program peacefully.

And that's what we're trying to do. But it requires a protocol of visibility, of accountability, of insight, of transparency, so that we know what Iran is doing. And over a long period of time, we believe that we can, indeed, you know, do what's necessary to make the guarantees that are important to everyone.

Now, what's key here is that what we have done shuts off the four principal pathways to a bomb for Iran. In the Natanz facility, in the Arak plutonium facility, in the Fordow underground facility, and also the covert program. We don't think, the science tells us that we have an ability to know what Iran is doing and to be able to shut off those pathways to a bomb. And that makes the world safer.

CHUCK TODD:

If what you say the agreement is is the agreement, there are plenty of people, even some Republicans, that say it's a good agreement. However, the leader of Iran, the ayatollah, and everybody knows this is the guy that calls the shots, he tweets this out in English, "I trust our negotiators, but I'm really worried as the other side is into lying and breaching promises, an example was the White House fact sheet."

And when you look at the differences, whether it's President Rouhani and what he has said, or what the ayatollah has said, the United States has said that it's going to be a gradual relief of sanctions based on progress. The Iranians say there's immediate sanction relief.

The U.S. says there's limits on uranium enrichment. The Iranians say there's no mention of enrichment limits. The U.S. says there's restrictions on Iranian research. The Iranians say there is no restrictions on research and development. Why are they publicly lying, if that's what they're doing?

SECRETARY JOHN KERRY:

Well, I'm not going to get into accusations back and forth. That doesn't help our process. It's not going to solve any problems.

CHUCK TODD:

Are they being truthful? Are they truthful here?

SECRETARY JOHN KERRY:

Let me just say this to you, Chuck. They're going to say the things that they feel they need to say with respect to their deal at home. And all I can tell you is this: when we did the interim agreement, there were these same kinds of discrepancies, or spin, if you want to call it that, with respect to what the deal was or wasn't.

But in the end, the deal was signed and the deal has been agreed to and lived up to. No one contests that Iran has lived up to every component of that agreement. And the deal is what we said it was. Now, with respect to the fact sheet that we put out just yesterday, the Russians released a statement saying that the statement released by the United States is both reliable and factual.

So I will stand by every word that I have uttered publicly, and I will be briefing the United States Congress in full, the House tomorrow, the Senate the next day, and we will lay out all of the details to them. Some of which are obviously classified. But we will have a long discussion about what the facts are.

CHUCK TODD:

But if the Iranians insist that immediate sanction release has to take place, immediate, that all sanctions have to be gone, will you walk away from that deal?

SECRETARY JOHN KERRY:

Again, I'm not going to get into one side's or another side's characterization of what the deal is or isn't. We've made clear what our needs are, what our expectations are, we've made it very clear that if we can't achieve our goals, we will not sign a deal. And we've said that again and again to Congress, to the world.

If, you know, we want a good deal. We believe that the outlines, the parameters that we have laid out thus far are the outlines of that good deal. Now is it perfect yet, no. Are there things that need to be done? Yes. That's why we have another two and a half months of negotiation.

And what we're looking for is not to have Congress interfere with our ability, inappropriately, by stepping on the prerogatives of the executive department of the president, and putting in place conditions and terms that are going to get in the way of the limitation of a plan.

CHUCK TODD:

I understand. But the Iranians are certainly making your job harder by publicly disagreeing with what you're doing. Do you think the ayatollah's trying to kill the deal?

SECRETARY JOHN KERRY:

I believe that Iran would like to have an agreement, obviously from their point of view, they have needs with respect to the agreement. So do we. The question is, can you find a way to thread the needle and have a meeting of the minds. In the course of the next days, quietly and privately, I look forward to briefing Congress.

I think it's important to get this debate at this stage, frankly, out of the back and forth of he said, she said, they said, and get into a serious discussion about what is at stake, look at the realities of what the facts are, of what the agreement will be, let us finish the negotiation, and then Congress obviously has oversight responsibilities, has an ability to be able to weigh in. But we don't want it to weigh in in a way that actually prevents the negotiation. Or prevents an agreement from being consummated.

CHUCK TODD:

Mr. Secretary, you've run for president before, there's big news this morning, Hillary Clinton, your predecessor at the State Department is running for president. You came through a tough primary in 2004. Do you think she needs a tough primary? Does that make you a better candidate if you have a real primary? Or do you think a coronation is healthy for the Democratic party?

SECRETARY JOHN KERRY:

Well, the virtue of my job right now, Chuck, is that I'm not in politics. So I don't comment back and forth on that. I wish her well. I think she did a terrific job as secretary, she's a good friend. She's highly qualified, and I'm confident we'll wage no matter what, with or without a primary, a formidable campaign and we'll go from there.

CHUCK TODD:

Mr. Secretary, thanks for coming back on Meet the Press. Your 37th appearance, tied for seventh all-time on the show. Thank you, sir.

SECRETARY JOHN KERRY:

Thank you.

CHUCK TODD:

In a moment, a unique look at that police shooting in South Carolina. How differently the story would've been covered, had no one recorded video of the incident.

***Commercial Break***

CHUCK TODD:

Welcome back. The videotaped shooting of a South Carolina man by a police officer has intensified the calls for police officers to wear body cameras at all times. This morning, we want to take a look at the significance of recording encounters with the police in a way you haven't seen before.

This week, the folks over at The Huffington Post wrote a print version of how the North Charleston would've been covered, had there been no tape of the incident. So we thought we'd try to do a television version of what they did. How TV would've been stuck covering the story with no video to contradict the claims of the police department.

Here it is. And remember, what you're about to see did not air anywhere. It is simply a version of how television would've had to cover the story if there were no video and it had to rely entirely on information from the North Charleston Police Department. Every quote in here is real, released in the initial aftermath of the incident.

(BEGIN TAPE)

NARRATOR:

A routine traffic stop turned deadly Saturday when police say a North Charleston officer was forced to open fire on a driver who tried to overpower him. It began when officer Michael Slager pulled over 50-year-old Walter Scott for a broken taillight, and Scott suddenly fled the scene. Slager said he pursued Scott. And his lawyer told a local newspaper, "When confronted, Officer Slager reached for his taser, as trained by the department, and then a struggle ensued."

The driver tried to overpower Officer Slager in an effort to take his taser. Police say Scott was able to gain control of the taser, and that feeling threatened, Slager then reached for his gun and opened fire. Scott was hit and fell to the ground.

OFFICER SLAGER:

Shots fired. Subject is down. He grabbed my taser.

NARRATOR:

Police say other officers rushed to the scene, delivering first aid and performing CPR. Scott was pronounced dead at the scene. Walter Scott has a long rap sheet that includes charges of assault and battery and failure to pay child support. In a statement, North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers said, "This is part of the job that no one likes and wishes would never happen. This type of situation is unfortunate and difficult for everyone."

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

Remember everything you saw there was based entirely only on the information that was released by the police after the incident, the only way we could've covered the story without the video. And so what we learned once the video was released, of course, was a very different story.

Walter Scott was running away when he was shot. He was shot in the back, that no CPR was performed, and it actually wasn't clear at all that Walter Scott grabbed the officer's taser. Let me bring in the panel. Mayor Blake, you're obviously mayor of a big city, you're in charge of a police department here. The importance of to me cameras on cops. Isn't it?

STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE:

Definitely. We announced that we'll have a pilot program for body cameras, police body cameras up this year. It's very important as leader to work to rebuild the bonds of trust that have been broken over time. This incident underscores that mood. And you have to be proactive and you have to be willing to do what the leadership down there did, which was to denounce it immediately and to move forward. You can't cover it up, you can't be afraid of scrutiny, you have to lead.

CHUCK TODD:

You know, Hugh, we also, there's been a study of the pilot programs where there've been cameras on cops. And where there have been body cameras, the number of complaints against officers, down 88%. And the decline in police use of force, down 60%. I think we know the solution, don't we?

HUGH HEWITT:

Oh, the BWCs as they're called, are changing, revolutionizing both what the police do and what suspects do. They all react differently when you're being watched. And I must say, that was a very provocative and well-done piece. And it does present to you why this video makes so much sense. On the front page of The Washington Post today, they have gone back ten years. There are 54 prosecutions with police who have shot people, only 11 convictions. Some are still pending.

And you wonder if BWCs had been available, whether those numbers would be different. But the downside is, if you've seen Furious 7, God’s Eye, do we really want police recording everything all the time?

CHUCK TODD:

I know. Look, the ACLU has said this, and there are some Fourth Amendment issues here, and frankly, there's also a cost issue too. Maria, somebody's got to pay for these.

MARIA HINOJOSA:

Yes. But all of this would not have happened if it wasn't for Feidin Santana. Right? Who's an immigrant from the Dominican Republican. And most people are like, "Where's the Dominican Republican?" You know, the majority of Latinos actually--

CHUCK TODD:

Well, a lot of baseball fans know where the Dominican is.

MARIA HINOJOSA:

True. But across the country, so 64% of Latinos, Mexican, United States, has 3.1% of Dominicans. But here's this young man who said, "I wanted them to know that they weren't alone." He's recording the whole thing. And of course, when he goes to offer to the police department, they dismiss him, like, "Who's this, probably black, immigrant with an accent? What could he possibly know?"

And that motivates him to go to the next step. He's being hailed among some Dominican immigrants as an American patriot, as somebody who has changed the discourse because as journalists, we depend on facts. And when the police department says, "These are the facts."

CHUCK TODD:

And you trust the police department.

MARIA HINOJOSA:

You're trusting them. We have to.

CHUCK TODD:

You know, David, I can't help but wonder, I wonder if there's a difference in how suburban police forces, smaller, not as much scrutiny, not as much funded, hire their police officers versus how big cities, who have, probably, have, we know this, because their police departments look like the communities they police. The suburban ones don't. And where are we having the trouble?

DAVID BROOKS:

Yeah. First on your report, I started my career as a police reporter at a place called the City News Bureau of Chicago. And our slogan was, "If your mom tells you she loves you, check it out." And that's what we've--

CHUCK TODD:

That's a lesson.

DAVID BROOKS:

--hopefully have done in this case. I do think it's hard to know. I do know the policemen, I've covered them in a big city like Chicago. When they do something bad, they cover it up.

CHUCK TODD:

I mean, there's a lot of plot lines. We know this. It's everybody's instinct. There is--

DAVID BROOKS:

I'm much more ambivalent than the rest of the panel on the cop cams. I mean, I support them because I think they are for the truth, but I think there's a lot be lost. Mostly what cops do is not big, capturing a felon. It's getting in somebody's home, getting into their private life at the worst moment of their life, in domestic violence. If there are cameras on there, that we can trust. And if those cameras, if those videos go onto YouTube, as they will, you can trust them.

CHUCK TODD:

No, I know. And I think that's the other thing. I can picture a Supreme Court case coming, where we have this issue on sort of the camera being an illegal search and seizure, or something like that.

MARIA HINOJOSA:

But if it's theft, or somebody's getting--

CHUCK TODD:

Versus saving lives. I know.

MARIA HINOJOSA:

--fatally shot, I think we have to at least have the dialogue, which is what we're doing and work those issues out.

CHUCK TODD:

Absolutely. Are you going to be able to pay for all these cameras? Who pays for it? Fed? State?

STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE:

No, the feds have to participate if it's going to be a meaningful program. But, you know, you have to pay for your priorities. And trust with the police is a priority.

CHUCK TODD:

All right. Take a break here. When we come back, it turns out what many have suspected about their tax rates, at least on the state and local level between the rich and the poor, is true. We'll be right back.

***Commercial Break***

CHUCK TODD:

Nerd Screen time. And since Wednesday is tax day, we thought we'd make this all about taxes. Common sense would say, the more money you make, the higher rate you would pay on state and the local level, right? Well, not exactly. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, low-income Americans have a higher tax rate on the state and local level than the wealthy.

In fact, overall, the bottom 20% pay an average effective tax rate at the state level of 10.9%. The top 1%? Ready for this? On the state level, they pay just 5.4%. That's because taxes on everything from food, shelter, and clothing, to registering your car or eating at a restaurant, they hit the poor the hardest.

And by the way, if you're in the top 1%, you might want to think about moving to one of these states: Nevada, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Florida. Because there, the top 1% pays an effective tax rate of under 2%. For more on the politics and geography of your taxes, head to our website. Up next, I flew to Vegas yesterday, not to hit the tables, trust me. I always like to do that. But to talk to Rand Paul. That interview is coming up next.

***Commercial Break***

SEN. RAND PAUL:

I think there are a lot of threats around the world. And everybody talks about Iran. I think Iran is a significant threat. I think the countries that already have nuclear weapons are somewhat of a threat also. North Korea's a loose cannon with nuclear weapons.

I think Pakistan, there's always a threat of instability over there. Also having nuclear weapons. So I think there's a number of threats. I think, you know, in the last year or so, Russia has become more problem than problem solver. You know, there was hope maybe a year or so ago that when Russia helped to broker getting rid of the chemical weapons in Syria, there was hope among some of us that they were going to, you know, want to participate in making the world a better place. But quickly dashed after, you know, the invasion of Crimea and into Ukraine.

CHUCK TODD:

There's a quote you gave that was in the New Yorker. You said it in July of last year, but it was in the October New Yorker. You said this: "When you have so many confusions, how can you ask an American GI to go fight and lose his life for something where we'd be fighting with the Iranians and the Syrians against I.S.I.S. but in the neighboring country we would be fighting with many people who hate Israel, hate the United States, hate Christianity? Makes absolutely no sense." I take that quote to think that you think even right now the U.S.'s presence in the Middle East is too big.

SEN. RAND PAUL:

Well, I don't think I'd put it that way. I would say that the quote is to mean that the Middle East is a very confusing place. And before we leap, before we put GIs into something where they could lose their lives or where we're putting American GI lives at risk, that we have to think before we act.

And if I can think of one thing that is true in that mess that I think is incontrovertible and really hard for anybody to object to is that every time we've toppled a strong man, we've gotten chaos and we've gotten the rise of radical Islam. And that includes wars that were promoted by Republicans as well as wars promoted by Democrats. I think Hillary's war in Libya is an example. But I also think the toppling of Hussein is another example of when a strong man went, chaos ensued.

CHUCK TODD:

Do you think we're spending too much time debating Iran and not enough time debating the I.S.I.S. resolution that Congress still hasn't voted on?

SEN. RAND PAUL:

I think they're both important. And I think they both need to involve Congress. Because, you know, our founding fathers were very, very specific that Congress had a role in foreign policy, a big role. In fact, they gave the ultimate role, you know, in declaring war to Congress. And that was intentional, I mean, to make it difficult and to make it that we only went to war when we had consensus.

CHUCK TODD:

But there's an intensity on Iran. "Oh my God. We gotta debate every facet of the deal." And none of that on I.S.I.S.

SEN. RAND PAUL:

Yeah, and I think that's disappointing. And so, you know, before Christmas, I brought it up in the Foreign Relations. And I actually introduced a declaration of war against I.S.I.S. And I did try to attach it to a water bill, which annoyed some people. And people were like, "Why are you attaching a war resolution to a water bill?"

And it's like, "That's all they'll let me attach it to." But I forced them to debate. And I think that's one of the things to me that has been most exciting about being in the Senate, is I could be at home saying, "Congress should declare war," and, "Why won't Congress get involved?"

But now, I'm actually there. And I can say, "You know what? I'll make them vote on this. And they will have to discuss war." And they did. We had a great discussion. It didn't come to a resolution, but I'm still pushing to say, "Look, you should not be at war." And in fact, I've said the president, if he wanted to be a great leader last August should have come before a joint session of Congress and laid out the plan.

And then he should have asked for permission. He would have gone down in history as a uniter and a great leader if he had done that. And instead, we kind of Mickey Mouse around. And no one's made a decision. "Are we at war? Or are we not at war?"

CHUCK TODD:

The Iran deal, I know there's confusion. You got the Iranians saying one thing about it. You got the Americans saying one thing about it. Assuming the deal is what John Kerry and President Obama are saying, is that a deal you would nullify on day one if you took office?

SEN. RAND PAUL:

I think that's a real problem, is assuming what it actually means. And, you know, I've talked to the administration about this. And I've told them from the very beginning one of my biggest concerns is the day that the Obama administration came out with their fact sheet on what the agreement would mean, the foreign minister of Iran comes out tweeting in English and says, "Well, no, it means exactly the opposite of what the Americans mean." And so you have to question the sincerity of the Iranians. And it also goes to credibility on this agreement. Is this really going to be the agreement that we can wholeheartedly get behind--

CHUCK TODD:

But this--

SEN. RAND PAUL:

--if Iran is not saying what--

CHUCK TODD:

But going--

SEN. RAND PAUL:

--it means.

CHUCK TODD:

But going back to the description, the agreement as the United States has described it, good enough agreement for you?

SEN. RAND PAUL:

I think that there are good things in it. Surprise I'm not one of the Republicans who will say, "Oh, because the president's a Democrat, I'm never going say he can do anything good." I believe in negotiations. I want to have negotiation. But I also realize that negotiations have to be from a position of strength.

Many conservatives who are hopping mad and all they want to do is criticize the president, they don't remember Ronald Reagan talked with the Russians. We negotiated with the Russians for decades. Didn't mean we trusted them. Reagan said, "Trust but verify." I'm still in the same camp.

So while I want a deal, I don't want a bad deal. All I've seen is the fact sheet so far. And I will tell you it greatly troubles me that the Iranians are saying it doesn't mean any of this. And meanwhile, the Ayatollah's still spouting off with, you know, aspersions toward the U.S. And Zarif saying it doesn't mean anything.

And so really the Iranians are destroying the ability for any Americans to get behind it because of their remarks. So if they could come out and say, you know, "Yes, we agree with the administration on what it means," there might be a chance for people to look at the agreement objectively.

CHUCK TODD:

You said something right after the 2012 election about your dad. You said, "Maybe, just maybe the Ron Paul revolution is the last best hope for saving the GOP from oblivion." If you run a good campaign and you're not the Republican nominee, GOP headed for oblivion?

SEN. RAND PAUL:

Sometimes we have flowering rhetoric that we use. And sometimes--

CHUCK TODD:

You think you overdid it there?

SEN. RAND PAUL:

Probably not me, of course. Other politicians probably have been over the top, but never me. No, I think we say a lot of things. And I was very sincere that, you know, I was a great fan of my dad. I think he's one of the few honest and genuine people in politics. So I do mean that in my support. But I think also when we say, "It's our guy or oblivion," we may sometimes be using a little rhetorical flourish.

CHUCK TODD:

Where do you disagree with your dad? Give me three areas--

SEN. RAND PAUL:

You go first. You go first. Where do you disagree with your dad? And then I'll go to mine. No, I mean--

CHUCK TODD:

No, I--

SEN. RAND PAUL:

Here's the thing--

CHUCK TODD:

Well, but you guys are both elected officials.

SEN. RAND PAUL:

Yeah, I know. Here's the--

CHUCK TODD:

It isn't--

SEN. RAND PAUL:

Yeah, I know.

CHUCK TODD:

And your campaign, been a lot of Ron Paul fans that showed up today and showed up--

SEN. RAND PAUL:

I would say the best way to describe it has to be sort of in general terms unless we've got a few hours, you know--

CHUCK TODD:

Fair enough.

SEN. RAND PAUL:

And the thing is that I would say that we both believe in the original intent of the Constitution. We both believe that government should spend only that comes in. We both believe in a strong national defense. And we both believe that maybe in the spectrum of foreign policy that maybe we've intervened too much.

Now, there's degrees of how much you intervene around the world. And he might be a little bit more towards the side of not ever intervening. And I'm towards the side of deciding how we intervene through Congress and doing it when there is a vital American interest involved. And so I think there are times you intervene. I think I.S.I.S. is one of those.

CHUCK TODD:

This week, there's been a lot of attention to some of the interviews you've had. One or two have been contentious. One with my colleague Savannah Guthrie. This has been men and women, by the way. Do you think you have to grow a thicker skin?

SEN. RAND PAUL:

You know, it depends on when you get me. You know, if I've had my coffee and, you know, some of my-- no, I think--

CHUCK TODD:

Are you not a morning person?

SEN. RAND PAUL:

No. Actually, I am very much a morning person. I'm a surgeon. I love the morning. And actually, I'm better at 7:00 in the morning. So no complaints. It was early in the morning. But the thing is, I guess, that, you know, most of my profession has been as a doctor. And so if you ask me a question and it's about your eyes or it's about, you know, pain you've got here, I try to be very direct with the answer.

I don't like it and I sometimes have a hard time hiding that I don't like it when a lot of the question is built up into, "Well, you've changed your rhetoric. You've changed your opinion. And I guess this is your opinion at least for now." And that kind of tipped me off. That's snide. That's almost like, "This is your opinion. Oh, I guess at least for now--"

CHUCK TODD:

Well, welcome to the N.F.L.

SEN. RAND PAUL:

Oh, I know. But the thing is that then I push back. And I don't know for better or worse. People have come up to me of both stripes and said, "Thank goodness you stood up to the liberal media." And other people, maybe my wife, have said, "Count to ten and try to, you know, let them spit out their question, even if it is a biased question. Let the question come out." I don't know. I think we could all be better. I think some interviewers could be better sometimes. And I think also politicians could be more tolerant of interviewers at times--

CHUCK TODD:

Hillary Clinton's getting into this race. You have been comfortable bringing up a lot of her past, a lot of Bill Clinton's past and saying that it should be thought about and debated. You're hesitant about your past. You don't like your associations with your father being a part of your campaign.

SEN. RAND PAUL:

Right.

CHUCK TODD:

Isn't that a little hypocritical?

SEN. RAND PAUL:

I think the thing is about the Clintons is that there's a certain sense that they think they're above the law. And I think there's also this grand hypocrisy for the Clintons in the sense that we've got this whole thing, this war on women thing that they like to talk about.

And yet Hillary Clinton has taken money from countries that rape victims are publicly lashed. In Saudi Arabia, a woman was gang raped by seven men. She was publicly lashed 90 times. And then she was convicted of being in the car with an unmarried man. We should be boycotting, voluntarily boycotting a country, not buying stuff from a country that does that to women--

CHUCK TODD:

So you want a boycott. So if you're president, "Saudi Arabia, you're no longer an ally."

SEN. RAND PAUL:

Well, no--

CHUCK TODD:

"You're done."

SEN. RAND PAUL:

I think that's a little different than what I'm saying. You remember with South Africa? You know, there was much of it that was a voluntary boycott saying, "You know what? Personally, you know, I'm going to try to tell my university not to invest in this country because of what they do to women."

And, see, I think I would expect Hillary Clinton if she believes in women's rights, she should be calling for a boycott of Saudi Arabia. Instead, she's accepting tens of millions of dollars. And I think it looks unseemly. And there's going to be some explaining she's going to have to come up with.

CHUCK TODD:

All right, senator. I got to leave it there. But are you really running for both offices at the same time?

SEN. RAND PAUL:

Yes.

CHUCK TODD:

Yeah? The anti-Washington candidate wants to be in Washington?

SEN. RAND PAUL:

Well, I think there's got to be a voice for people. You know, people who believe that government really has gone way too far. And I think you'll see 1,000 people out here that want me to still be that voice.

CHUCK TODD:

All right. Senator, stay safe--

SEN. RAND PAUL:

Thank you--

CHUCK TODD:

-on the trail, buddy.

SEN. RAND PAUL:

All right. Thanks.

***Commercial Break***

CHUCK TODD:

It is End Game time, panelists here. There's been one Clinton we haven't talked about so far on the show. But Saturday Night Live did. Take a look.

(BEGIN TAPE)

KATE MCKINNON:

I am running because I want to be a voice for women everywhere.

DARRELL HAMMOND:

Did someone say women everywhere? Hillary would make a great president. And I would make an even greater first dude. This election is about you. I don't want to hog your limelight. I am leaving. Look at me go. Bye. I'm gone.

KATE MCKINNON:

Aren't we such a fun, approachable dynasty?

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

Nice to see Bill Hammond back to do that. Mayor Blake, the Bill Clinton power, look, it did hurt Hillary Clinton back in '07, '08 a little bit. And he seems to know. It does look like they're trying to give him the same rule that President Obama did, which is use him as little as possible until you really need him.

STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE:

Well, I think everybody, I mean for me, I'm the Clinton generation. So for me, use him as much as possible.

CHUCK TODD:

The majority of the country loves Bill Clinton. Let's remind people for that.

STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE:

I think she'll learn the lessons from the past campaign and they'll use them appropriately. I'd like to see more of Bill Clinton.

CHUCK TODD:

Do you want to see more? Bill Clinton, help or hurt, do you think--

HUGH HEWITT:

The big issue is trust. I go back to the Rand Paul thing. Rand Paul is a high-trust candidate. Hillary Clinton is a low-trust candidate. Bill Clinton is a lower-trust candidate. And if trust is the issue and you look at Syria, Libya, all these things, you just say Bill Clinton is not an asset if trust is the issue.

CHUCK TODD:

You know, David Brooks, David Axelrod said he compared Bill Clinton to nuclear energy. A lower grade of it is really good, but it could be radioactive and explosive in a hurry.

DAVID BROOKS:

David, I think he's a total winner on the message and he's a great politician, he's a great messenger. The substance is the interesting thing for me. Bill Clinton was a moderate Democrat at Sister Souljah moments. That Democratic Party doesn't exist anymore. And so how does Hillary Clinton move off the Clinton economic policies of the 1990s?

CHUCK TODD:

Right, which we know the left wants her to go left. And you're right, those in the middle are going to want it somewhere else. She had another issue, Maria, and it's called the “Rauch Rule,” Jonathan Rauch, a long-time colleague of mine at National Journal, now over at Brookings, he came up and he said, "Basically, candidates for president, they all get elected if they've been in the arena for 14 years or less. And 14 years is sort of your sell-by date. That's your expiration date."

Well, Hillary Clinton, according to his math, has been in elected office 15, you know, first run for elected office 2000. She's at 15 years, never mind is first lady for 25. So if you look at all the candidates, the ones that meet the Rauch criteria, 14 years or less, Christie, Cruz, Jindal, O'Malley, Paul, Perry, Rubio, Walker, Webb, the ones that are quote, unquote, "stale," are Biden, Bush, Chafee, Hillary Clinton, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum. How does Hillary Clinton deal with this freshness issue?

MARIA HINOJOSA:

I have to be honest with you. The terms "expiration date" and "stale" and "too late for you" as a woman, it's like, I don't know if men have that same reaction, that's nuclear.

STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE:

That’s nuclear.

MARIA HINOJOSA:

You're telling us we've expired? So I think that's problematic. And I think that actually Bill de Blasio who started, you know, was on the show, I mean, he shows that anything can happen, right? Politics is that anything can happen. It's stale if you continue to be stale. But there's no reason why things can't get mixed up. But I think that that Rauch term--

CHUCK TODD:

You don't like the Rauch test at all. You don't like the rule.

HUGH HEWITT:

But this is different. Hillary's like the cornea transplant you didn't know you had. She's been more in your vision since 1990. You have the Tammy Wynette interview that was in February of 1992. She's been there since then. That's not about being a "sell by" date, that's just weariness.

CHUCK TODD:

But Mayor Blake, I've had Clinton people say, "Guess what that also means? There's a whole slew of Americans who are going to vote for the first time for her who never had to vote for Bill Clinton." And that could be an asset.

STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE:

I think it's an asset. I also think, and you talk about stale, I would say the Republican party has been very stale, not been willing to expand. But where do they stay on the Rauch test?

CHUCK TODD:

No, and that's what we did, I went through the whole thing, and that's a big problem for a guy named Jeb Bush, who's got the same issue. Before we go, big news this week. We have friendly competition between the Sunday shows. Bob Schieffer is announcing his retirement. So Bob, you love your purple socks, I will be wearing purple socks in your honor on your last show. I promise. And I guess since you're a big TCU fan, I hope I get this right, Frogs. In all seriousness at Meet the Press, Bob Schieffer is one of the class acts of Washington, I think I speak for everyone at this table.

MARIA HINOJOSA:

Absolutely. Definitely.

CHUCK TODD:

We're all going to miss you. I would do my Schieffer, but I'm told I would get in trouble if I do too much of my accent there. But gosh darn it, why can't we just all get along and get this town to work better? Anyway Bob, in all seriousness, thank you for being such a great colleague. That's all we have for today. We'll be back next week, because if it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press.

***END OF TRANSCRIPT***