Meet the Press   |  April 07, 2013

2: Roundtable discusses Biden, Clinton and Obama’s controversial comments

Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, GOP strategist Mike Murphy; Politico’s Maggie Haberman; and NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, Andrea Mitchell discuss Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden’s 2016 agenda, and also discuss the comments President Obama made about an attorney general at a political event in California.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> let's learn from the wisdom of every mother and father who teaches their daughters there is no limit on how big she can dream and how much she can achieve. this truly is the unfinished business of the 21st century , and it is the work we are called to do. i look forward to being your partner in all the days and years ahead.

>> time to talk presidential politics now. 2016 is really not that far away. with us on our political roundtable mike murphy , politico senior political reporter maggie haberman and sticking around with us former governor of new mexico bill richardson and our own andrea mitchell . andrea, you were at that speech. the unfinished business of the 21st century , does that include electing the first female president who is hillary clinton ?

>> that was certainly the feeling in the room, and this was filled to the rafters at lincoln center . this was the second of two speeches last week, and she was in both venues in her comfort zone . these are people, the women in the world summit , tina brown summit on friday. vital voices on tuesday which hi hillary clinton founded back 14 years ago. but in both places she was really surrounded by the love and affection of her base, of her supporters. tuesday night, interestingly, joe biden was on the stage, and he gave a rip roaring, crowd pleasing speech. she was more constrained, praising her longtime partner in all of this, but, boy, she let it rip on friday. there was no misunderstanding. if she decides she's running, she has everyone around her, james carville joining here this week, the strongest signal yet.

>> maggie haberman, you wrote something really interesting in politico, the viewer's guide to her intentions and the various benchmarks. pay attention to these things. her business choices, cautious versus candor, the company she keeps, where her book tour takes her. she's going to write a book this week talking about her time at the state department . the muzzle on the big dog , that being the former president, and her appearance. discuss.

>> i'll work backwards, actually, starting with appearance, which maureen dowd hit on today in "the new york times" and it's right. you are seeing sort of a new hair style on hillary clinton . i got a lot of pushback on talk ing about that, but the reality is hillary clinton has dealt with this kind of thing for years. she has turned it into a joke, number one. number two, her book, they announced a book deal this week. where you see that tour take her i think is going to be very interesti interesting. we saw a lot of presidential candidates this past cycle use book tours as sort of a masquerade for something else. she doesn't have to do that, but this is an easy pay for her to do a rollout and she did that with living history. and then lastly, i think, and there were others, but i think most important in terms of company she keeps, the mark penn fa factor gets talked about a lot. he ran her 2008 campaign. that campaign was very mismanaged by all accounts. i think the question is -- and that falls to her at the end of the day . did she learn from 2008 ? can she make different choices this time?

>> can she get david plouffe to run the campaign? as you step back, strengths and weaknesses, what do you see?

>> do you think dilger might rob a bank? she's putting on highly produced videos, it's a perfect time to flip on gay marriage . if she's not running, somebody is there. maybe she will join that campaign because it's definitely going forward, i believe. now strength and weaknesses. if you read the d.c. press, it's all inevitable. i haven't seen it as inevitable since the beginning of 2007 when she couldn't lose either. she's an incredibly strong candidate the particularly within the primary, and the crystal ball is foggy. on the one hand, it's kind of looking backwards . on the other hand, it's historic. she has a base, and she's been to the college of losing for president which is a very rare college. you learn a lot. so i think she is clearly the fro front-runner but i'm making no predictions.

>> governor, you have run against her for president back in 2008 , and there is something going on about this era of inevitability. it's not just in the democratic circles. maureen dowd quoting squams car carville saying the following about hillary clinton . she's gone to hell and back trying to be president, he's quoted as saying. she's paid her dues, to say the least. the old cliche is the democrats fall in love and republicans fall in line, but now republicans want a lot of people to run and they want to fall in love. and democrats don't want to fight. they just want to get behind hillary and go on from there, says someone who is obviously in her corner. how do you see it?

>> well, first, she doesn't confide in me, so that's number one. number two, i think the odds of her running are about 100% to zero. i think she will. she's a formidable candidate. and i disagree with senator graham. she was a good secretary of state. she logged almost a million miles , you know, enormous challenges. she was a good senator. she can now run as somebody who is out of the shadow of the president. the first woman president. she's got activists all over the country with her. she also has -- and now that i'm out of government -- i talk to a the lot of republicans. they like her. they like her strong performance. and i think you are going to see a formidable candidate. it's still too early, you know, anything can happen. but she's a major player.

>> hillary clinton , i mean, andrea mitchell , when we talk about her record as secretary of state, what senator graham alluded to, a mixed record on benghazi, in other aspects of her tenure. look, she still has to deal with the left on her support of the iraq war . she obviously rehabilitated herself in that real suspect in terms of certainly being seen as tough enough. what does she say? what is the most potent argument against her both within the party and by republicans?

>> i have a question as to the management style because will she have learned the lessons from '08 as maggie has laid them out? what kind of campaign will she run? campaigns have changed dramatically since she ran. look, as you said, the david plouffe run campaign for obama . is she on top of all these technical and polling advantages which is really light years from what she did in 08 and did unsuccessfully.

>> for all her strengths, she's in a bad position because the superwoman costume will be put on her and then spend four years lifting up locomotives and a cuomo pops up and gets the endorsement of the boston left-handed mill wrights, here is the nar rative when you're the early front-runner is bad.

>> there are generations of women -- i speak to the young women at the conference at both the tuesday and friday conferences. young women and women , mip 95 ye 95-year-old mother, god bless her, they want to see a woman in their lifetime. and this is a real aspiration and that is considering the demographics of our country, most voters are women .

>> if you look at the demographic coalition that president obama put together, and we were talking about this on election night . now you can't count all of those and take them for grafted, but that is the kind of coalition that if she does it right could be delivered right to hillary clinton to take into 2016 .

>> absolutely. it's hard for me to point to a state he got that she wouldn't want to get.

>> hispanics, women , young people .

>> and i think there is that sense of unfinished business that women voters do feel about her, about the country post- barack obama . i think there's two things. i think, you know, how do you be the future as opposed to the past? that's a real issue for her. that's more of a general election issue. in 2007 we knew barack obama existed, we just didn't think he was running.

>> when have we gone back, mike murphy . he told people it's hard to believe the country goes back and not forward generationally.

>> right. it's going to be a trick because we're going to want to relitigate a lot of stuff. we'll hear the word benghazi 3.2 million times.

>> how about iraq?

>> it is tricky. while she is so strong in the primary, in a general election we make the mistake of identity politics . i used to run the campaign for christine todd whitman of new jersey. we never carried in the exit polls the fae male vote. so people make a mistake about gender voting. it's more complicated than that. any democrat is going to have the presidential year, not the off year, but the presidential year demographic advantages they have.

>> bill richardson , what about the vice president of the united states , joe biden , who, if you wake up in the morning, you know he's running. when i had him here last may, here was the question i asked. who is more likely to run for president in 2016 , you or secretary clinton?

>> i think we may run as a team. i'm only joking, obviously. i don't know whether i'm going to run and hillary doesn't know if she's going to run.

>> there's truth in humor, mr. vice president. and the rich laugh. the difficulty here, you're not like likely to see the kind of primary fight that you saw between obama and clinton, are you? wouldn't biden be very careful about doing that?

>> i think biden would run. he's always wanted to be president. he's been a good vice president. he was key in that whole economic agreement that was made. he's done a lot of foreign policy . he's in very good physical shape, so i don't think there will be an age issue. and he has ambition. he has the fire in the belly. when you run for president, you have to realize it's about four years of your life every day in a different spot. and biden has that sort of eye of the tiger . i don't think he would defer to secretary lyclinton. the relationship is very good. but, you know, when you run for president, you have to just do it.

>> i'm fond of him as a republican, just his personality. he's a patriot. but he is the atomic clock of second finance. and i don't think that's going to change. i don't think he'll win a democratic primary .

>> i don't know that he can run if she's running. if she's a declared candidate, they have the same base, a lot of the same donors, and he is beloved within the party and look how he pushed the envelope on gay marriage and forced the president into that situation. he's really been on the cutting edge of violence against women . he has everything going for him except that hillary clinton --

>> it's he's not a star.

>> let me get to a star in the democratic party , harris, the attorney general of california , and the president underlined that this week by pointing out -- here she is speaking at the convention, by the way, and i believe we have the exact quote of what the president said in a speech this week paying tribute to her, making a point you have to be careful to, first of all, say she is brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you'd want in anybody who is administering the law and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shot. but what he really wanted to say she also happens to be the best looking attorney general in the country and had to apologize with that.

>> you have to be careful to say. women candidates, women elected officials tend to be judged more base based on appearance than not. obama has these awkward moments. he does personally like her.

>> they've been friends for a long time.

>> and michelle obama has been part of that friendship. he also says these awkward things about men and nobody complains. he said that about his interior secretary. he said and look at that good-looking guy in the front row . we found the tape of him doing that friday.

>> i'm sorry.

>> i think he read a biden speech by mistake.

>> should he have apologized?

>> i think he did. i think it's political correct insanity but there's a business of blowing this stuff out of proportion which is much harder on republicans and democrats.

>> you know, maybe i'm a neanderthal, but i thought that the president's comment was harmless. it was a political speech. he talked about her accomplishments, he talked about her xe it tense, competence. what are you going to read her resume? political correctness has reached a point where it's out of control. am i going to be criticized for instance if i say that a movie star like scarlett johansson is beautiful? are they going to go after me? probably.

>> check twitter. we'll get back to you.

>>> all right. we're going to get a break in here. we'll switch gears and talk about the economy and jobs. a bad report came out on friday as the president is pushing a new budget framework. we have cnbc's mr.