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Meet the Press Transcript - October 5, 2014

MEET THE PRESS -- Sunday, October 5, 2014

CHUCK TODD:

This Sunday on Meet the Press, America is on edge. Ebola's been diagnosed on U.S. soil for the first time.

DR. IRWIN REDLENER:

The country is absolutely not ready for a large-scale epidemic.

CHUCK TODD:

The head of the secret service had to resign after a series of blunders that compromised the security of a president.

DAN BONGINO:

The secret service at this point needs someone to come in with a fresh set of eyes.

CHUCK TODD:

As our government got a grip on all of these challenges facing the country. And can President Obama keep his promise about combat troops?

PRESIDENT OBAMA:

I won't commit our troops to fighting another ground war in Iraq or in Syria.

CHUCK TODD:

We're going to hear from an Iraq War veteran who thinks he's already broken it.

CLAY HANNA:

The truth is that they are actively engaged in combat.

CHUCK TODD:

Plus, with less than a month until the midterms, I'm gonna reveal some big new polls that may be just what one party has been waiting to see. And I'm Chuck Todd. And joining me to provide insight and analysis this morning are NBC's Joe Scarborough; our chief foreign affairs correspondent here at NBC News, Andrea Mitchell; host of PBS NewsHour, Gwen Ifill; and former senior advisor to President Obama, David Axelrod. Welcome to Sunday. It's Meet the Press.

ANNOUNCER:

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

CHUCK TODD:

Well, good Sunday morning here. Before I get down to business, I should show you this new set that we have here. As you can see, we've got some new décor. A nod to the history of the show. Some important décor over here that really is just to give Scarborough a hard time. That's the great University of Miami helmet.

I've got a nice new coffee bar. I'm going to call it coffee bar because hey, it's Sunday morning, we should only be drinking coffee. Some of you may decide that you need more than that. But we hope you enjoy it. It's a clean look, we like it. It's more my style. And now let's get down to business. It's been a rough week.

There's a litany of problems that the government and the American public are having to worry about. The first case of Ebola in the United States. More revelations about the secret service incompetence, and another horrific ISIS beheading.

(BEGIN TAPE)

BRIAN WILLIAMS:

The highest alert. The CDC has now increased the emergency response to the Ebola epidemic.

CHUCK TODD (V/O):

This outbreak is the largest in history, causing the president to send U.S. military personnel in an attempt to control the spread of the virus.

PRESIDENT OBAMA:

We have to act fast. We can't dawdle on this one.

CHUCK TODD (V/O):

Ebola. Just one of the frightening but true stories that have been seen on TV, newspapers and the internet.

LESTER HOLT:

It's an unbelievable scene as a man jumps over a fence.

CHUCK TODD (V/O):

A man able to penetrate one of the most protected places in the country.

KRISTEN WELKER:

No one has ever gotten all the way through the front door, just behind me.

SCOTT PELLEY:

Worse than we knew.

BRIAN WILLIAMS:

Turns out, he got deep inside the mansion before being stopped.

CHUCK TODD (V/O):

On Friday, another beheading. Then, an email confirming that another American is being held by ISIS. And a White House realizing they needed to reassure a frightened public.

BRIAN WILLIAMS:

Ebola in the U.S.

DAVID MUIR:

The first confirmed case of Ebola.

SCOTT PELLEY:

A man in Texas has just been diagnosed with Ebola.

CHUCK TODD (V/O):

Because Ebola has left Africa and walked into a Dallas hospital.

LISA MONACO:

And that person is now being isolated and dealt with and significant contact tracing is being done.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

Let's take a closer look at the severity of the Ebola outbreak. The situation is dire in West Africa, with Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone severely affected. The Centers for Disease Control estimates 7,492 people have been infected, and that 3,439 have lost their lives. But there are worries those numbers could continue to skyrocket with the CDC laying out a worst-case scenario, which could see 1.4 million infected by the end of the year.

Earlier this month, President Obama told me that only the U.S. could lead the fight against the virus. And more than 3,000 American troops are being deployed to West Africa in order to help with these relief efforts and build makeshift hospitals. But it's important to note only one case has been diagnosed in the U.S. so far.

This week, Thomas Eric Duncan tested positive in Dallas after traveling to the U.S. from Liberia. His condition was downgraded yesterday from serious to critical. And of course, here at NBC, we've been impacted. On Thursday, Ashoka Mukpo, a freelance cameraman, who had been working with our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Nancy Snyderman in Liberia, was diagnosed with Ebola.

He's due to be flown back for treatment in Nebraska. No one on the NBC crew with Dr. Nancy Snyderman has shown any signs of infection. She of course will quarantine herself for up to three weeks. I'm joined now by Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control. Dr. Frieden, welcome to Meet the Press.

DR. TOM FRIEDEN:

Good morning.

CHUCK TODD:

Let me ask you this morning what you can tell us about Mr. Duncan in Dallas. We understand he's in critical, or I think now critical condition. What more do you know?

DR. TOM FRIEDEN:

Well, just what you've said. As we know, this is a serious illness, that the virus is very hard to fight in individual patients. We know how to stop its spread in a community. But for treatment of individual patients, the best care is intensive, supportive care. And that's what's being done right now in Dallas. And we really hope for his recovery. But we recognize that it is a severe illness that does take far too many lives.

CHUCK TODD:

All right. Let's talk about the response in Africa right now. It is still be described as an exponential problem. So every infected person ends up infecting two more people. So it is an exponential issue. How do you change the math? When do you think you can change that math?

DR. TOM FRIEDEN:

Well, with President Obama's decision to send the Department of Defense in to provide critical support, they're already there on the ground, they're working very effectively with our team, with other teams in the U.S. government internationally. We're seeing a terrific international response as well. Other countries are coming and helping.

But the virus moves very, very fast. We're beginning to see some signs that the response is getting more and more effective, for example, at making sure that people aren't being exposed to patients who have died from Ebola and getting safe removal of bodies. There's been progress on that in the past week, and that's encouraging. But this is going to be a long, hard fight.

CHUCK TODD:

Let me ask you about drugs. We know there are some experimental drugs. Some of them have been used to deal with the early U.S. relief workers that got infected early on during the beginning of this crisis. Is there signs of speeding up that process so that these drugs are available faster, quicker, and either to be used both in West Africa and anything we need here?

DR. TOM FRIEDEN:

The drug pipeline is going to be slow, I'm afraid. The most promising drug, ZMapp, there's no more of it, and it's hard to make. It takes months to make just a bit. So many people are working on can that be accelerate. We're also looking at vaccines. And there are a couple of promising vaccines that are already in initial trials. And if those were available, we would be able to use them for healthcare workers and potentially in other places, if they work.

So we've got to figure out as quickly as possible whether they work. But even without drugs or vaccines, meticulous clinical care, just restoring the patient's fluid balance can save a lot of lives. And in Africa, we're seeing some of those makeshift hospitals providing that good fluid care that's doubling survival rates there.

CHUCK TODD:

How do you calm American fears here? Right now, the public we saw, we saw an airplane sort of quarantined in Newark. You're now seeing hundreds of cases where people are reporting potential symptoms that might be Ebola-related. And frankly, we're getting close to causing a panic about this. How do you stop that part of this virus?

DR. TOM FRIEDEN:

Well, it's really understandable that people are scared. It's a deadly virus. But you have to go back to basics. The bottom line here is we know how to stop it. It's not going to spread widely in the U.S. for two basic reasons. We can do infection control in hospitals and we can do public health interventions that stop it in its tracks.

We do that by identifying every possible contact, monitoring them for 21 days, and if they get any symptoms, isolating and monitoring them as well. That's how you stop Ebola. That's how we've stopped every outbreak. In fact, just this past week, we reported on our experience helping Nigeria stop their importation of Ebola.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, let me ask you very quickly though. We've got flu seasons going to be coming up. Can the U.S. healthcare system handle the incoming that if you mix sort of fear about Ebola with your typical flu season, and people feeling sort of similar issues, fever, stuff like that, are you worried about a crush of the American healthcare system because of the Ebola fear mixed in during flu season?

DR. TOM FRIEDEN:

I don't think we're going to see a huge number of Ebola patients, or even concerns for Ebola patients. It's great that we have an index of suspicion such that we evaluate every person who has traveled and who might have it. And that's what we expect to see. It's actually a good thing to see more concerns so that we don't miss a patient and allow it to spread in a cluster in this country.

What flu season will hold, I don't know. It's a good time to get a flu shot. The only thing you can predict about flu season is that it'll be here and we can't predict what it'll be like. So very important to get a flu shot. That'll reduce the burden both on you and on the healthcare system. But I think our healthcare system certainly has challenges. But it can respond, it has resilience, we have hardworking doctors and nurses, people running the system. And we're going to learn from each experience and respond even better next time.

CHUCK TODD:

All right, Dr. Frieden from the Centers for Disease Control, thanks for coming on Meet the Press.

DR. TOM FRIEDEN:

Thank you.

CHUCK TODD:

You got it. All right. For more on the Ebola response, I'm joined now by Dan Pfeiffer, senior advisor to President Obama. Dan, welcome back to Meet the Press.

DAN PFEIFFER:

Thanks for having me, Chuck.

CHUCK TODD:

Let's go to I think with the White House's responsibility, which is sort of calming the public's nerves. Is the administration considering stepped up tactics here, possibly more aggressive screenings at airports? Something to reassure the public that Ebola is going to have a hard time making it to the United States?

DAN PFEIFFER:

With, I think the first thing we need to do is make sure that the American people understand how hard it is to contract Ebola, and to understand that there is no country in the world better prepared than the United States to deal with this. We have the best public health infrastructure and the best doctors in the world. We've been preparing for this eventuality since the outbreak in West Africa started seven months ago.

CHUCK TODD:

Why though, I guess go back to the question. I understand about the outbreak, but are you going to try to do more measures? I think this is a public that is very fearful right now, because you say one thing here, and then all of a sudden, Ebola walked into a Dallas hospital.

DAN PFEIFFER:

Well, I think we're going to constantly evaluate all the measures we have in place. I think it's important for people to understand that this outbreak's been happening for seven months in West Africa, and this is the first time someone has come to the United States. So we're prepared for this. But we'll always be evaluating. The president's focused on this every day.

CHUCK TODD:

So you may do more?

DAN PFEIFFER:

No, I think we are going to look and make sure everything is working. And if we see where there are flaws in the system, where things don't work, we'll address those. But we're very confident in the procedures we have in place. And people should know that the president's focused on this every day. He's briefed on it every day. He's in contact with Dr. Frieden, the CDC, local officials in Dallas to make sure that every resource we need to deal with it is being brought to bear here.

CHUCK TODD:

I think one of your challenges though is a trust deficit that has been created over the last 18 months. I want to put up a graphic, whether you believe it's fair or not, it is a fact about all the different sort of government gaps over the last 18 months. Edward Snowden stealing NSA files, the VA faking wait times, IRS losing emails, healthcare.gov doesn't launch.

The president himself saying, "U.S. intelligence agencies underestimated ISIS." The DHS, the border failure with that surge over the summer, sort of failure, and of course, the secret service. Why should we trust that what you're saying about the CDC is able to handle this? You understand why there's more skepticism than normal.

DAN PFEIFFER:

Look, I do understand that people have had a growing skepticism of institutions for a long time, including government. But people should know that everyone in the situations you mentioned, where a problem arises, we deal with it. We deal with it quickly, we deal with it forcefully to make sure it doesn't happen.

Let's take one example that got a lot of attention over the summer, which is the surge at the Southwestern border. That was a problem that came. We brought to bear every resource possible to do it. And this month, crossings at the borders are less than they were this time last year--

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

I understand that. And I'll give you, there always is a good reaction. Ebola needs to be pro-action.

DAN PFEIFFER:

Well, believe that's exactly what we're doing. Which is why the only way to deal with this is to stop it at its source. Which is why we're deploying around 3,000 troops there to bring to bear the--

CHUCK TODD:

Is that enough? Are we going to have more?

DAN PFEIFFER:

That is what the Pentagon believes we need right now. And we'll constantly evaluate that. But what we can do there is bring-- no one is better at command and control logistics than the U.S. military. And they're going to make a huge difference over there. It's going to take some time, it's going to take a lot of work, but it's the right step to take.

CHUCK TODD:

I want to play you a sound bite from Republican Senator Rand Paul about this military troop issue, helping with Ebola. He's got a concern frankly that that's a way for Ebola to affect the American military. Take a listen.

SEN. RAND PAUL (ON TAPE):

You also have to be concerned about 3,000 soldiers getting back on a ship. Where is disease most transmittable? When you're in very close confines on a ship. We all know about cruises and how they get these diarrhea viruses that are transmitted very easily and the whole ship gets sick. Can you imagine if a whole ship full of our soldiers catch Ebola?

CHUCK TODD:

Fair concern?

DAN PFEIFFER:

It's a concern that is being dealt with and we're prepared to deal with. People will be screened appropriately, we'll make sure that doesn't happen.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, there's a lot of public officials that are skeptical and nervous about this. Do you think they've been acting responsibly?

DAN PFEIFFER:

I think that a lot of people have been very responsible about this, about not raising irrational fears and communicating information people need to know. I think that's important and we appreciate that.

CHUCK TODD:

I'm going to shift to the secret service here. When the White House decided, when the president decided to hire Director Pierson, did you guys rush? Did you vet her properly? Not necessarily on whether she had a good background and a good HR file. But did you vet to see, was she up to the job? Or did you rush?

DAN PFEIFFER:

No, we did not rush. And she was someone with a 30-year record at the secret service. Obviously, what had happened over the last several weeks here made it clear we needed to take another direction. And we decided to do that, and we're very pleased that--

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

Turned out she was the wrong hire, right?

DAN PFEIFFER:

Turned out we needed a new direction. And Joe Clancy, someone who the president knows very well, I know very well, is the exactly right person to come in on an interim basis. He'll be here next week to begin dealing with whatever situations may arrive in the secret service.

CHUCK TODD:

Is it time to hire an outsider?

DAN PFEIFFER:

I think we're going to let Joe Clancy get there, look at it, begin to steer the agency in the right direction, and we'll see who the right fit is.

CHUCK TODD:

I'll ask you about the president's speech in Chicago this week. There's one way to read it is that he was declaring victory here on his agenda, that he believes he's got a successful-- is that a way to look at it? That basically it worked? "Hey, my policies were right. Look at this. Everything is great."

DAN PFEIFFER:

I don't think that's a fair reading of the speech, though. The president was very clear that while we have made significant progress to improve the economy, to build a durable foundation for the economy going forward, job creation, auto industry back, housing industry coming back. But he said very clearly that we have more work to do because too much of the benefits of that growth is not being showed broadly enough on the middle class.

CHUCK TODD:

He said, "We're better off now than we were before." But the direction of the country, the public, nearly 70% of the public thinks we're heading down the wrong--

(OVERTALK)

DAN PFEIFFER:

And I think you--

CHUCK TODD:

A big disconnect here.

DAN PFEIFFER:

I think it is very clear, anyone who works in the economy knows we were losing hundreds of thousands of jobs a month, we have now created more than ten million private sector jobs. Every indicator is up significantly over the last six years. But there is certainly more work to do. And that's a lot of what this election is about, is a choice between Democrats and Republicans, Republicans who are opposing the common-sense economic policies we need to help the middle class.

CHUCK TODD:

Dan Pfeiffer, senior advisor to President Obama, thanks for coming back here on Meet the Press. Let's get some reaction now from our panel. Of course Joe Scarborough, Andrea Mitchell, Gwen Ifill, David Axelrod. Joe, let's go to Ebola. You had some pretty tough words on Friday about government response and your own personal concerns. What you've heard from Dr. Frieden and Dan Pfeiffer, you feel any better than you did Friday?

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

No, I don't feel better. And I don't think most Americans feel better. You have everybody saying, "Hey, let's stay calm." That's what the World Health Organization said back in the spring when this broke out. And then they said, "Let's stay calm," when the head of Doctors without Borders, as The Washington Post reported this morning, went to them in late July and said, "This is a crisis." They said, "You're panicking, you're panicking."

And we're hearing the same thing now. Let's look at it. The World Health Organization has been dismal. They've ignored all of the warning signs. And then the African countries, the governments there have failed miserably. And right now, a lot of Americans are seeing what happened in Dallas and looking at your laundry list, what happened with the secret service, what happened with the IRS, what happened with the VA, what happened with ISIS being a JV team. So when anybody, any member of the government says, "Hey, just relax, everything's going to be okay," Americans don't believe that.

CHUCK TODD:

Andrea?

ANDREA MITCHELL:

And in fact, it's that laundry list, it's more and worse here, because in Dallas, look what happened. The man comes into the ER, he tells a nurse he was in West Africa, in Liberia, they initially blame it on a computer system where the nurse doesn't call the ER doctor.

CHUCK TODD:

I know, the system broke.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

Now they acknowledge it wasn't the computer system at all, that the doctor on the case had the same information. People are not communicating. And this is after we were told by the government, by the CDC, by the White House, that doctors and hospitals around the country were prepared.

One thing now though, they now begin to realize that I'm told by sources that they are now going to consider strongly having screening. And they don't have the personnel. CDC doesn't have the personnel. But they now believe if they go to a small number, four main airports, they can get about 75% of the people coming in.

CHUCK TODD:

JFK, Dulles, O'Hare, Newark.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

Newark.

CHUCK TODD:

Those four airports, they can hit 75% of the incoming West Africans traveling.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

You cannot trust people to believe to be asked a questionnaire at the port of departure in Africa.

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

But wait, if you have a six year old daughter, and you're in West Africa, and you think she may have Ebola, are you going to answer the question honestly?

ANDREA MITCHELL:

Absolutely.

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

Are you going to come to the United States? I'm coming to the United States to try to save my daughter's life.

GWEN IFILL:

I think we have a couple of different questions here. One is that the set of systems broke down. And it's clear that you can look at isolated systems and say they broke down. It's one thing for the U.S. to say, "We're going to send all of these mobile military hospitals to set up in Monrovia." But it turns out, there's no infrastructure there to get them set up.

There are systems that break down. But the question you're asking is whether, it's the term that Dr. Frieden used, the index of suspicion, whether that expands to everything. I don't know that Americans turn and automatically look to their government and say, "Fix this," the way we think they do. If they're suspicious of government in all these other ways, and they also are expecting government to have--

CHUCK TODD:

Yeah, well, they're suspicious--

GWEN IFILL:

Let me just, let's test one thing. One case of Ebola in the United States, right? One. 3,000 people dead in West Africa, which we weren't talking about last week. So all of a sudden, we are panicked.

CHUCK TODD:

And by the way, every warning case, every ca--

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

Well, and obviously we have a math issue.

GWEN IFILL:

One case is a tipping point?

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

And everyone is connected.

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

I'm sorry. It's going to such a level in West Africa, that now is when you would start to. As Kent Brantly said, a guy who knows something about this, because he had it, said, "This is a fire from hell. And if you think that the Atlantic Ocean is going to stop it from coming over here, you're kidding yourself."

CHUCK TODD:

But David, you're--

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

--want to disagree with Dr. Scarborough, but--

(OVERTALK)

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

David, that's an understatement.

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

Okay, okay, okay gang. Gentlemen, let's give each other--

DAVID AXELROD:

Tom Frieden, Tony Fauci at the NIH, these are public health professionals of world-class standing. They have no motivation to mislead the American people. They've dealt with many epidemics before many health issues before. I don't think there's a reason to believe that they're not doing what needs to be done. And I will say this about the jaundice issue.

I sat on this very set, it wasn't as nice, but in the spring of 2010, and we talked about the oil leak in the Gulf. And everyone said, "This is Obama's Katrina. Things are out of control. The government's broken down." It wasn't even mentioned in the 2012 election, because ultimately it was dealt with. So I suggest we look back six months from now and review this discussion.

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

No I understand.

DAVID AXELROD:

And I suspect that we're going to say is, "Gee, that wasn't what we thought it was."

CHUCK TODD:

But David, the problem for the White House right now is they have to make sure people don't panic.

DAVID AXELROD:

Right.

CHUCK TODD:

Because we can't have our public health facilities flooded. I brought up flu season for a reason, because the symptoms are almost identical. And we could see a total crush on that system.

(OVERTALK)

GWEN IFILL:

But what is our responsibility in creating and fomenting--

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

Well, that's, I--

ANDREA MITCHELL:

But the government--

(OVERTALK)

DAVID AXELROD:

What the responsibilities are with asking questions. And I understand the Dr. Scarborough comment. I'll be really honest with you.

CHUCK TODD:

It's not--

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

This is a serious issue. I'm quoting people that have Ebola, that have spent time in West Africa--

(OVERTALK)

DAVID AXELROD:

People like you and people like us go on television and say, "This is far worse than they're saying, this is a reason to get--"

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

I'm not saying that.

DAVID AXELROD:

"This is a reason to be--"

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

I'm not saying that.

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

Okay guys.

(OVERTALK)

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

You're hearing things I haven't said, David--

DAVID AXELROD:

Then people respond to it.

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

What I was saying is, we have to ask tough questions.

CHUCK TODD:

I've got to hit the pause button, Joe.

(OVERTALK)

DAVID AXELROD:

--actually, I thought he did a pretty good job.

CHUCK TODD:

Let's do the pause button, because you guys have plenty. We're going to come back. We can continue this discussion.

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

Chuck, we're trying to help.

CHUCK TODD:

All four of you. I hear you, I hear you. You're doing great here. But I've got a few other guests here I want to talk to. In fact, when we come back, I've got the head of the Republican National Committee here, Reince Priebus, who's been I think amused by this back and forth. I'm going to ask him the reasons why we're not seeing signs of a wave for the GOP. Is it because his party doesn't have a coherent message? We'll be back in a minute.

***Commercial Break***

CHUCK TODD:

And welcome back. Republicans are hoping for a Beach Boys kind of November. Catch a wave and you're sitting on top of the world. But so far, that wave not really in sight. On Thursday, my next guest, Reince Priebus, played out what he called the GOP's principles for American renewal ahead of the midterms. But those principles are nothing like the clear message the party offered in 1994, when Newt Gingrich's Contract with America led to a Republican sweep. Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, welcome back to Meet the Press.

REINCE PRIEBUS:

Hey Chuck, good morning.

CHUCK TODD:

I want to talk about your principles here. They sound great. In fact, Karl Rove said it was very well poll-tested language. Preserve, value, and honor the constitution, grow the economy, balance budget amendment, healthcare reform, improve veterans’ access to healthcare, strong military, equal educational opportunity, improve the job market, value family life, religious liberty, hard work, energy independence, immigration including secure borders and uphold the law. Very agreeable language. I don't think anybody, including some Democrats would disagree. But there's no policy here. No policy connected to this. Why?

REINCE PRIEBUS:

Actually, it's not true. We call for a balanced budget amendment, that's policy. We call for school choice, that's policy. We call for the president adhering to the constitution and not violating the law and not abiding by what we call the Separation of Powers Act in the constitution. I think if you go back and look at the Contract with America, you'll see it'll say welfare reform--

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

Oh, the Contract with America, I've got it here.

(OVERTALK)

REINCE PRIEBUS:

--is that this is something that our party--

CHUCK TODD:

We're not seeing--

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

--this year.

REINCE PRIEBUS:

That's not true. I mean, when you can put John Boehner, Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, Tony Perkins, and the Tea Party Express on the same page, which you have, as a unified party, and as far as a wave is concerned, I don't know what polls you're looking at. But if you look at Arkansas, you look at Alaska, South Dakota, West Virginia, Louisiana, you go to Colorado, you're seeing Republicans in the lead. So look, with a month out, I'd much rather be where we're at than where the Democrats are at.

CHUCK TODD:

If you don't win the Senate, failure?

REINCE PRIEBUS:

I think we've got to win the Senate.

CHUCK TODD:

For the--

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

--election.

REINCE PRIEBUS:

Absolutely.

CHUCK TODD:

If you don't win the Senate, this is a bad election?

REINCE PRIEBUS:

I think so. Yeah, I think that's fair. I think we've got to win the Senate. I think we will win the Senate. The question for us is are we going to win with six, seven, or eight seats? And I think that's what's up for grabs right now.

CHUCK TODD:

One of the things in here that you didn't mention, there's a lot of social issues. Why was that?

REINCE PRIEBUS:

Well, we did talk about a strong family, we did talk about life, and we talked about family--

CHUCK TODD:

It seems like you're nervous about it.

REINCE PRIEBUS:

Well--

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

Are social issues working against you guys?

REINCE PRIEBUS:

Have you read--

(OVERTALK)

REINCE PRIEBUS:

Not at all. If you read the speech, we didn't hide away from social issues at all. But the fact of the matter is is that people are out of work, the real unemployment rate is at 11.8%. And whether you're in Laredo, Texas, or Peoria, Illinois, the president's policies aren't working. And the president on Friday, as you rightfully noted earlier in the show, said that his policies are on the ballot. Well, of Barack Obama's on the ballot and his policies are on the ballot, it's going to be a pretty bad year for Democrats.

CHUCK TODD:

Unemployment's below 6%. How has that not the economy-- how can the Democrats say, "Hey, things are getting better."

REINCE PRIEBUS:

I think you guys spelled it out pretty well when you had Mr. Pfeiffer on. From the real unemployment rate, for the how many people are out of work, the labor participation rate is at record lows. People today don't feel better off than they were five years ago. And obviously, whether it's the GSA, the IRS, Syria, Ebola, the Secret Service, I mean, what's going well in regard to this administration and those senators that have followed this president lockstep?

CHUCK TODD:

A court upheld a new law in Texas. One of the things about the Republican party is you don't like a lot of regulation on businesses, except if the business is a abortion clinic. 80% of these abortion clinics in Texas are going to be basically out of business because of this new law. Too much regulation, is that fair? Why regulate on the abortion issue now until maybe the law is-- and maybe wait until you win a fight in the Supreme Court where you outlaw abortion altogether. Why restrict a business now in the state of Texas?

REINCE PRIEBUS:

Well, you obviously have to talk to someone in Texas. But the fact of the matter is that we believe that any woman that's faced with an unplanned pregnancy deserves compassion, respect, counseling, whatever it is that we can offer to be--

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

But 80% of those clinics are gone. It's something that they have to drive 200 or 300 miles for that compassion?

REINCE PRIEBUS:

No, look, listen Chuck. The issue for us is only one thing. And that's whether you ought to use taxpayer money to fund abortion. That's the one issue that I think separates this conversation that we're having. And so and the fact of the matter is, what this election is going to come down to, and I think we know it, is whether or not people feel better off today than they did four or five years ago, whether these Democrat senators followed this president lockstep, in spite of the fact that things aren't going in the right direction, whether it be ObamaCare, jobs, the economy, Keystone Pipeline, all of the above.

It's not working for him. So you can try to steer, talking about abortion again. But the fact of the matter is, if you're in Skagway, Alaska, you're thinking about the fact of why my life isn't better off today than it was when this senator was elected six years ago.

CHUCK TODD:

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican party, we'll be watching. Thanks for coming on Meet the Press.

REINCE PRIEBUS:

You bet.

CHUCK TODD:

Welcome to our new set.

REINCE PRIEBUS:

Thank you.

CHUCK TODD:

Back to the panel, Joe, Andrea, Gwen, and David. I want to put up this piece of sound we heard from the president from that speech, you heard Reince Priebus just talk about it. It was a pretty interesting comment that a lot of Republican campaigns are pretty excited about. Here it is.

PRESIDENT OBAMA (ON TAPE):

I'm not on the ballot this fall. But make no mistake, these policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, we posited it in, first read that this would be in Republican ads on Friday morning. By Friday afternoon, they're in Republican ads. Take a look at this one in Kansas.

(BEGIN TAPE)

NARRATOR:

Now Barack Obama says--

PRESIDENT OBAMA:

I'm not on the ballot this fall. But make no mistake, these policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.

NARRATOR:

Obama's candidate for senate in Kansas? Greg Orman. A vote for Greg Orman is a vote for the Obama agenda.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

David Axelrod, you're not writing President Obama's speeches anymore, but if you were--

DAVID AXELROD:

No, I wouldn't put that line there.

CHUCK TODD:

Would you have? I was just going to say, you would not--

DAVID AXELROD:

No, I would not have. But understand, if you read the speech, the context of the line was, the thing he's pushing forward, minimum wage, pay equity, infrastructure, and he said these are on the ballot. But the way, it was obvious when you saw the speech that that was not the way--

CHUCK TODD:

You're an ad man.

(OVERTALK)

DAVID AXELROD:

That was going to--

CHUCK TODD:

That's all you--

(OVERTALK)

DAVID AXELROD:

It was a mistake. But you know, fundamentally, the issue that he should be driving and the Democratic party should be driving is forward looking, because the problem is how are middle class people going to make a living in this country, and what policies can we implement that can help? We ought to have that debate.

CHUCK TODD:

Go ahead, Andrea.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

I'm not echoing Reince Priebus because he is obviously partisan, and that's his job. But if you look at The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Financial Times, all the reporting on the jobs data from Friday reported that participation rate is at historic lows, decades lows. 59% are involved in the labor force. That's just not a sustainable look--

(OVERTALK)

ANDREA MITCHELL:

--have two Americas, we really do.

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

I'm going to get into that. Actually, I want to just--

DAVID AXELROD:

But that is a long-term trend.

ANDRE MITCHELL:

And it's not improving.

(OVERTALK)

DAVID AXELROD:

--said in the break, everything doesn't have to be political. This is a problem for the country, and it's been with us over a long period of time.

CHUCK TODD:

All right, Gwen--

(OVERTALK)

GWEN IFILL:

Every reporting also on Friday about these jobs numbers show they were the lowest since 2008. They showed that even though the job participation is dropping, that it's hard to argue that things aren't better. The problem, and the dilemma for the president, and we saw it, I don't know if he was weighing that or not, but the problem with the president is he wants to say, "Look, there is good news and I'm willing to run on that."

DAVID AXELROD:

The problem with Republicans though and the--

GWEN IFILL:

Except he's not running.

CHUCK TODD:

But I was just going to say, I want you to talk about, did he have a message?

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

No.

CHUCK TODD:

What did you think about these principles of--

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

Listen, Barack Obama is not on the ballot. His issues may be on the ballot. But look at the polls. His numbers are low. And yet, despite the fact they're low in Kansas, you've got an independent candidate who's up by ten points. Despite the fact they're low across the deep South. They're in the low 20s. Mary Landrieu's doing great. Not great, but she's doing much better than she should be in Louisiana. Kay Hagan's doing much better than she should be in North Carolina.

CHUCK TODD:

Is that because the Republicans don't have a message?

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

There is no message. And you know who's saying that? Republicans.

GWEN IFILL:

Scott Walker, among them.

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

Yeah. If you don't like President Obama's healthcare plan, what's your healthcare plan?

CHUCK TODD:

What's the alternative. Right.

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

If you don't like what Barack Obama's doing on jobs, how are you going to get people back to work?

(OVERTALK)

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

Nobody has those messages.

DAVID AXELROD:

He's trying to respond to what is obvious, which is their standing is much lower than his standing because of what you said. But you listen to their principles, and it reminds me of the old Mayor Daley said, we have to rise to higher and higher platitudes.

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

You are so parched

CHUCK TODD:

All right, guys.

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

It makes me sad, David Axelrod.

CHUCK TODD:

All right.

CHUCK TODD:

We're going to take another pause. You guys are having fun this morning here. We'll pause. President Obama has vowed American troops will not be sent to take on ISIS. But are they already engaged? We're going to hear from an Iraq War veteran who said that the so-called troops on the ground are already there.

***Commercial Break***

CHUCK TODD:

And we are back. On Friday, ISIS released another horrific video showing the beheading of British charity worker Alan Henning. Then ISIS warned that an American aid worker, Peter Kassig, could be next. Meanwhile, U.S. and coalition air strikes against the terror group are continuing in both Syria and Iraq. But ISIS is continuing to make advances, and of course those threats.

Here at home, the president has been clear. American combat troops will not be used to take on ISIS. But Clay Hanna is not so sure. He wrote an op-ed piece in Politico explaining why. Hanna is an Iraq War veteran who served from 2003 to 2008. Here's Clay Hanna in his own words.

CLAY HANNA:

I do not think that there is honesty when the president, when leadership has been speaking about how troops are being deployed. What's being said is that there are no boots on the ground. And characterizing the efforts and service of the military members that are deployed into the fight as something less than being at war.

The truth is that they are actively engaged in combat. At some point, ISIS is going to have a success. And what the military success looks like for them is a dead American soldier. We have a dangerous tendency to underestimate the enemy and overestimate our allies and their capabilities. And I see us making that exact same mistake now.

We need to clearly identify who our friends are. When we give weapons and training to people who we should not trust, people who we would not let on an airplane out of our own airports. It's inevitable that down the road, they will most likely turn against us. I want to see leadership in Washington take responsibility for communicating clearly with the American people. It is very personal. I feel like I have a responsibility as a veteran to speak up and ensure that there is a voice.

CHUCK TODD:

That was Iraq War veteran Clay Hanna in his own words. Coming up, who better other react to Clay Hanna's concerns than Jim Webb, former secretary of Navy and a decorated Vietnam veteran who is considering a run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. Stay with us.

***Commercial Break***

CHUCK TODD:

And welcome back, now to our Meet the Candidate series, sort of, this week I'm joined by Jim Webb, who points out he's just a potential candidate for president in 2016. He certainly has a unique resume. Webb is a former Marine and served in Vietnam where he won a Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism as well as the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts.

In the '80s, he served in the Reagan administration, as an assistant secretary of defense and secretary of the navy. In 2006, he switched parties and was elected as a Democratic senator from Virginia and served just one term before opting not to seek reelection. He's also a successful author and screenwriter and has written eight books over the years. And I do want to mention that my wife helped Jim Webb in his 2006 Senate campaign. Senator Webb, welcome back to Meet the Press.

JIM WEBB:

Good to be with you.

CHUCK TODD:

I want to actually begin with any reaction you have to Clay Hanna, because how politicians use phrases like "boots on the ground," and politicize the issues of combat troops, that does have an impact on soldiers, doesn't it?

JIM WEBB:

Well, it doesn't. And actually, just having watched the beginning of your show, I think it's fair to say right now that we are at a crossroads as a nation in terms of how we view ourselves, how we say these things to ourselves. And the way that these issues are going to be resolved in the next couple of years will affect us for a very long time.

And this is true in domestic policy as well. When you see the arguments here about economic fairness, the truth is that it really depends on where you're sitting in this country. We've got a stock market that has almost tripled since March of 2009.

CHUCK TODD:

You're feeling good?

JIM WEBB:

Yeah, exactly. If you've got capital, you're feeling pretty good. But average salaries have gone down, loans to small businesses have actually decreased. And we have a criminal justice system that's embarrassing. And all of the country should be focusing on that too. And in foreign policy, what you're hearing from this former soldier is something that we're seeing a lot of countrywide.

And that is that we have not had a clear articulation of what American foreign policy is, basically since the end of the Cold War. So when you're looking at places like Iraq and Syria, you're seeing policies that can't be clearly articulated.

CHUCK TODD:

You're basically saying that the president--

JIM WEBB:

And people--

CHUCK TODD:

You're basically saying President Obama doesn't have a foreign policy.

JIM WEBB:

I'm saying that in terms of a clear doctrine, we have been lacking that for a very long time. And it particularly impacts the Middle East. If you look at what's going on right now, there are two data points I think that are critical. The first was the decision by the Bush administration to invade and occupy Iraq. Which empowered Iran and unleashed all the sectarian violence. And then it was what I thought was a strategic, the inadvisable strategy of the Arab Spring. And what has happened in Libya as well as Syria as a result.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, the beginning of the Arab Spring was actually in some ways Egypt. Was that a mistake? Was the president getting involved in pushing Mubarak out the beginning of the mistake that then turned to Libya, that then turned to Syria?

JIM WEBB:

I think what you were seeing in Egypt and I was talking about it when it began was the first rule of wing walking is make sure you've got a clear grasp on where you're going before you leave where you are. This was accentuated in Libya. I spoke very strongly against the notion that a president could unilaterally conduct military operations in an area where we had no treaties at work, we had no Americans under attack or at risk.

And you take a look at the end result of Libya, are an enormous number of weapons that are unaccountable, which are probably in Syria, and can you get to the Tripoli airport today? And who's talking about that? Now if you take a look at Syria, which is Syria and these other parts of Iraq, which is what the former soldier was talking about, we now have a situation where we're asking these freedom fighters, or whatever you want to call them, who were going after Assad, to help us go after ISIS.

CHUCK TODD:

And it's not clear to you that they're going to do that. Is it?

JIM WEBB:

And the elements that are fighting there are very fluid in terms of the people who declare their alliances. I would be willing to bet that we had people at the top of ISIS who actually have been trained by Americans at some point.

CHUCK TODD:

Let me move to your potential political ambitions. Is there anybody else thinking about running for president, that if they got in, you'd say, "You know what? They're going to touch on these issues better than I am."

JIM WEBB:

You know, I'm really not looking at that. What I'm trying to do is exactly the same thing that I did when I was thinking about running for the Senate. And that is to identify the issues that America needs to focus on and in order to regain the trust of the American people.

And if you look at these polls that you were showing, I think the people are way ahead of their leaders. And they know we have these problems, that we're at a crossroads. And they're very disappointed in the fact that the top leaders in both parties have not been able to come together for the good of the country to work to solve them.

CHUCK TODD:

You're inevitably going to be compared to Hillary Clinton here. What's the contrast that you think's fairest between you and Hillary Clinton?

JIM WEBB:

I'll leave that to other people to answer.

CHUCK TODD:

If people describe you as running to her left, what do you say?

JIM WEBB:

I believe in certain principles that I put out. And whether they are to the left or to the right doesn't matter to me. I don't change what I believe. This is what I did when I ran for the Senate. And I'm very concerned about issues of economic fairness, social justice. We worked on criminal justice reform. Eight years ago we put two and a half years of hearings in it in the Senate. I don't know whether that's to the left or to the right. It's a leadership issue. It's not a political issue.

CHUCK TODD:

Is she a qualified president?

JIM WEBB:

We worked--

CHUCK TODD:

Do you think she's a qualified candidate to be president?

JIM WEBB:

We led on this to Asia, which people talked about a lot for the Obama administration. We began that two years before President Obama was elected. And I've been very strong on different ways to deal with foreign policy.

CHUCK TODD:

You're smiling here. You don't want to talk about Hillary Clinton yet. Is that fair to say? You're not ready to talk about her?

JIM WEBB:

I don't think it's for me to talk about Hillary Clinton. I enjoyed working with her when I was in the Senate. I don't know what she's going to do, if she runs, what she will run on. I'm just very concerned about these issues for the country.

CHUCK TODD:

Very quickly, a few key issues. Gay marriage. You were for civil unions, but not for legalized gay marriage when you ran in 2006. Have you changed?

JIM WEBB:

I took some very tough stands in '06. People will look back at the Virginia campaign. There was a gay marriage amendment on the ballot, an anti-gay marriage amendment on the ballot in Virginia. I've got a lot of family ties down in the far Southwest, and I oppose that. And I'm really comfortable with where the evolution has--

CHUCK TODD:

So you're not ready, so legal in some places, but not legal in others?

JIM WEBB:

I think this has been a good thing for the country.

CHUCK TODD:

Okay. Well, Jim Webb, I'm going to leave it there. Former Democrat Senator from Virginia, we'll be watching. Are you going to announce before the end of the year?

JIM WEBB:

Taking it one day at a time.

CHUCK TODD:

Fair enough. Up next, the roads to economic recovery. We've been talking about a lot already on the show. And guess what? It depends where you live. If you live near an interstate, that may be the best way to have a good, personal economic future.

***Commercial Break***

PRESIDENT OBAMA (ON TAPE):

So it is indisputable that our economy is stronger today than when I took office. It's also indisputable that millions of Americans don't yet feel enough of the benefits of a growing economy where it matters most. And that's in their own lives.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, that was President Obama this week touting his administration's policies and those of his fellow Democrats on the ballot in November. Well, let's do a little reality check here. While the unemployment rate has been steadily dropping, signaling a strengthening economy, as we saw with Friday’s jobs reports. There are still many Americans that aren't feeling it. So why?

Well, because the road to recovery is taking different routes. And that could mean trouble for Democrats in November. Let me show you another graphic and a map. Along the major interstates running north to south in the U.S., the fives, communities close to those highways are in the economic fast lane. These are the mostly urban areas that do favor Democrats, where economies are thriving and people are actually heading back into the job market at a rapid pace.

Much more rapidly than in rural America, farther away from those interstates. In fact, take a look right here in Washington D.C., along the I-95 corridor. From July 2010 to July 2014, the unemployment rate dropped nearly two points. And 35,000 more people felt encouraged enough to actually go into the job market.

150 miles to the southeast though, in rural Gloucester County, Virginia, the unemployment rate also dropped less than a point. But that was simply because nearly 1,200 fewer people are actually out there looking for work. Let's go to I-35 in Iowa, in Polk County, home to Des Moines. Not only was there a drop in the unemployment rate of two points, but 4,700 more people actually are in the job market.

That's a sign of a strengthening local economy. But in more rural Benton County, population just over 2,600, their drop in the unemployment rate of nearly two points wasn't good news because nearly a thousand people stopped looking for jobs in that county. Let's go farther west. 2,000 miles away in Utah, along I-15, the unemployment rate dropped three points in Salt Lake County, and 38,000 more people actually joined the job market.

But in Carbon County, two hours west of I-15, that drop in the unemployment rate of nearly three points was simply because fewer people stopped looking for work. This uneven economic recovery is the reason why Democrats are up for reelection this year in mostly rural states. Think Mark Pryor, Arkansas, Mary Landrieu in Louisiana.

They can't run on the president's economic message, because their voters in their states aren't seeing the economy bounce back as quickly as those areas that are along those I-5 corridors. Bottom line is that this could be another reason why Republicans feel so confident in retaking the Senate this fall. Of course, should they be that confident? I've got brand new poll numbers in three big states coming up after the break. There could be a speed bump on the Republican road to control of the Senate.

***Commercial Break***

CHUCK TODD:

And welcome back. I've got the panel back. And we have some new midterm polls to chew over. Three of the four states that I think matter the most, North Carolina, Iowa, Kansas, and Alaska, I think this is going to determine. Here's our new numbers in North Carolina. Hagan up four points, the Democrat there, 44-40, about where Republicans are concerned where that race is slipping away.

Look at Iowa here, Joni Ernst, a very narrow margin of error type of lead here, two points, 46-40, 44. If she wins, first ever woman ever elected to Congress from the state of Iowa. But here is the speed bump. Look at this, Kansas. Pat Roberts, a Republican, not even cracking 40%. Greg Orman, the independent, up ten points. This is the shocker, Gwen Ifill, plus ten. This is the speed bump to the Republican road.

GWEN IFILL:

And Chuck, we know you love your speed bumps. You hate it when it all goes the way it's supposed to go. This is surprising. But it's surprising that he's an independent. And therefore what we see is Pat Roberts pushing back saying, "He's not really an independent, he's--"

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

Well, let me tell you, Greg Orman, our own Kelly O'Donnell went and interviewed him in Kansas, asked him about this issue, who are you, who are you caucus with, listen to his answer.

(BEGIN TAPE)

KELLY O'DONNELL:

So you can envision switching which party you'd work with once you were there?

GREG ORMAN:

Sure. And ultimately, again, this is about solving problems. This is about the voters of Kansas saying the status quo doesn't work anymore.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

There you go, Andrea.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

It's classic. He's an outsider, he says he's independent. And the fact that Pat Roberts ignored all the warning, ignored what happened to Dick Lugar, you have to live in the state. You have to have residency.

CHUCK TODD:

It's a minimum requirement?

(OVERTALK)

ANDREA MITCHELL:

Talk about the hatred of Washington.

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

And by the way, Joe, we know that Kansas has other issues. Sam Brownback is in a tough reelection fight.

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

A problem, yeah.

CHUCK TODD:

But listen to this, 20% of Orman's voters are Brownback voters. Robertson's problems aren't Brownback's problems. They're different.

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

You know, the message is coming out of this campaign, and it's a message that the smart politicians should take up, it's about what works. Forget about ideology. George W. Bush was ideological going into Iraq. Barack Obama was ideological coming out of Iraq. There are people on both sides that will debate both of those contentions. The question is, what works?

That's a strong message. And Republicans should be concerned. Your numbers in North Carolina should cause concern. I will say even if we're only up, we the Republican party, only up by two points in Iowa with such a weak Democratic candidate, this is far from over. And all these people say Republicans are going to take the majority, I would like to know what polls they're looking at. It's too early.

CHUCK TODD:

But David here's the thing, success for the Democrats is, "Hey, we only lost five seats and Republicans blew one in Kansas." That's not a great message for the Democrats.

DAVID AXELROD:

Well, no. But when you look at the structure of this year with all the exposure Democrats have in states that Romney carried over Obama, it would be good just to survive. Iowa's going to be, to me, the tie breaker.

CHUCK TODD:

The tipping point.

DAVID AXELROD:

And Democrats are excited about one thing, which is early ballot requests.

CHUCK TODD:

And mail ballots.

DAVID AXELROD:

150,000, half of them for Democrats--

CHUCK TODD:

Brown versus--

(OVERTALK)

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

Listen, I hate to be negative about the Republican party, but if the Republican party doesn't win in 2014, 2016 is bleak--

(OVERTALK)

DAVID AXELROD:

And top party leaders have been saying that as well.

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

To Reince Priebus's credit, to Reince Priebus's credit, he said that--

ANDREA MITCHELL:

He said that.

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

Not getting the Senate is a loss this year for the Republican party.

DAVID AXELROD:

They've got to win.

CHUCK TODD:

All right. I had a little fun.

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

I had a lot of fun. First of all, I've had fun here. But I want to share a moment of fun I had yesterday, at least for nine innings.

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

Here it is. If you went to bed at a normal time last night, you probably missed the 18-inning epic marathon where the Giants did beat the Nationals two to one.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

Some of us saw it.

CHUCK TODD:

Some of us stayed up all night. Well, I got to watch the first half of that game. I made it through ten innings of it. And I got to cheer on the Nationals with my family, take a listen.

(BEGIN TAPE)

ANNOUNCER:

Please welcome, Chuck Todd of NBC News and his family.

CHUCK TODD:

One, two, three.

CHUCK TODD AND KIDS:

Washington Nationals, play ball!

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

I'm sorry, I had to share it because I'm just so cool, my son Harris and my daughter Margaret that had a blast.

GWEN IFILL:

And who was that person in the outfit?

CHUCK TODD:

Yeah, who cares?

(OVERTALK)

GWEN IFILL:

That Big Bird or whatever?

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

Oh Screech. Hey, leave Screech alone. All right, one final note. I'd like to thank all of those who worked so hard to build this new set in just two weeks, particularly directors Mark Greenstein and Rob Melick, who oversaw the entire process. It really does look good.

(OVERTALK)

DAVID AXELROD:

We're moving in, man.

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

We've got these cool lights, we've got all sorts of things. All it does mean is that I have to do a lot more cleaning, more dusting, I've got to get all sorts of feather dusters.

GWEN IFILL:

That's what we're for. That's what the panel is for.

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

All right, in fact, that's what you'll have to do after you're done. Everybody grab a duster.

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

That's it for today. We'll be back next week because if it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press.

* * *END OF TRANSCRIPT* * *