Meet the Press   |  November 10, 2013

2: Corker's view from Capitol Hill; Christie talks future of GOP

Sen. Bob Corker talks about the congressional view of Iranian nuclear negotiations, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks about his role in the GOP.

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

>>> bob corker of tennessee. good morning.

>> good morning.

>> iran refuses to stop enriching uranium, a critical step to making nuclear weapons. is this a negotiation or is this actually a dead end ?

>> we'll see. the security council resolutions call for a complete stoppage, so we'll see. the thing we have is on these partial kind of arrangements are exactly what we have in north korea . you begin this dance we're seeing right now, so unless you do the whole deal on the front end , you, in essence, begin this series of steps that may well lead to iran getting to exactly the place they wish to get to while we relieve sanctions. so there are a lot of concerns. some of the same people that were involved in the negotiations with north korea are involved in these, and so you can imagine that congress that put these sanctions in place with the administration kicking and screaming all the way, pushing back against these sanctions, are very concerned that we're going to deal away the leverage that we have where we finally have iran willing to sit down and talk about these issues.

>> so, senator, in the interim, there is going to be another meeting. these negotiations will continue on a freeze, just a temporary step before you get to a real negotiation. what are you and your colleagues going to do? do you think it's important to actually impose more sanctions, to impose more economic pain on iran before thinking about relieving those sanctions?

>> well, you know, there is going to be a banking markup this week where sanctions are going to be looked at. that meeting has been called off by the democratic leadership. and senator kerry is going to be coming up this week and briefing. but i do want to say, david , when you use semantics like freezing, iran is still going to be enriching uranium based on what we see. so when they say freeze, that means they're not going to be gaining but they're still going to be enrichinenriching, so there are a lot of concerns. are they going to continue building the facility in iraq which contains plutonium? what are we going to do with the enriched uranium on the ground there? so there are a lot of details to look at sternly before we decide we're moving ahead. i do know on both sides of the capital, on both sides of the aisle right now, people are really looking at what the next steps ought to be. all of us want to see diplomacy, we do. we thank the secretary for the efforts he's putting forth. that is the best way to resolve this issue. but we're also concerned about an administration that seems really ready always to jump into the arms of folks and potentially deal away some of the leverage we have. so we'll be watching this. we want to see a good outcome.

>> do you predict more sanctions before there is any kind of deal with iran ?

>> i don't know. you know, new sanctions, david , would not kick in for several months, and i think you've already seen that the administration has dialed back the rheostat since rohani's election on the existing sanctions we have. they have a lot of ways to dial down these sanctions in different ways. i think this week sitting down and talking with secretary kerry will be an important element of what we do. especially, again, david , think about it. a partial agreement leads us down the same path we went down with north korea where just to get people to act right as you move through these things, you continue to reduce sanctions. so, again, a lot of concerns about the approach. a lot of us want to see it resolved diplomatically. we know the sanctions got us here and we're worried we're dealing away our leverage.

>> senator corker, we will be watching. thank you very much.

>> thank you.

>>> joining me now republican governor of new jersey , chris christie . governor, welcome back to "meet the press." congratulations on your reelection.

>> thank you, david , very much. happy to be back.

>> a lot of speculation and a lot of excitement throughout the country with your reelection in terms of what it means. here's the cover of time magazine . the elephant in the room is what's on the cover. even, "four more years or two more years?" as it's crossed out, and saying you're getting ready to run for the white house . let me ask you this question. how do you think, even as governor of new jersey , that you can affect, that you can impact the republican party with this reelection?

>> i think the best way to impact my party is just to do my job in the same way that i've impacted my state . and i think, david , what you saw from the election results on tuesday is pretty simple. people want the folks they elect to get the job done, to do their job, get it done for the people who elect you. and that's why, you know, when you look at what happened on tuesday, it's about what's happened over the last four years. 143,000 new private sector jobs, cutting business taxes, controlling property taxes , reforming teacher tenure for the first time in 100 years and reforming a pension and benefits system to save $120 billion for the next 30 years for taxpayers. it's that kind of record that people were supporting on tuesday night, and i'm thrilled to get their support, and i'm ready to get back to work.

>> but whether you like it or not, you've been thrust into a position where the face of the establishment wing of the party, ted cruz is the face of the conservative wing of the party. who wins this argument? mitt romney said you could save the republican party . does it need saving and are you the guy to save it?

>> it was very nice of governor romney. i watched him on your program last week and i appreciate his kind words. i was a proud, proud supporter of governor romney and i consider he and i friends. that's what i ran for, that's what i want to do. i think what the election showed is if you want to attract a majority of the hispanic vote, if you want to nearly triple your african-american voters as a republican, what you need to do is show up. you need to show up in those places. david , i did a town hall in the city of irvington in my state about a year and a half ago. i got 4.7% of the vote in irvington in 2009 . i went there, and there were more people in the church where i did the town hall than voted for me in 2009 . you go and you show up and you listen. and you start to make your argument about your policies. and i think the results of the elections show that that's the kind of engagement we need as republicans all across the country. to listen and to show up in places where we haven't got a great amount of vote before.

>> some of the skeptics would say you ran up a huge margin of victory, so, therefore, your margin among latinos and african-americans will be higher. and then head to head, if it comes to this, against hillary clinton in new jersey shows you would trail hillary clinton even in your own state . do you view that and say she's for midable, that you would be an underdog if it came to that?

>> do you know how i view that, david ? i got 61% of the vote in the state of new jersey in a blue state that had just reelected barack obama a year ago by 17 points. that was nearly a 40-point turnaround between voting for a democrat at the top of the ticket and voting for a republican. getting 51% of the hispanic vote, i'm very proud of that because i've worked hard with the hispanic community to let them see how our policies can help their families. i've worked hard with the african-american community. i've worked hard with seniors and students and all those people came out and voted in large numbers for us on tuesday. so people can say whatever they want, but the numbers speak for themselves. i'm proud of it and it's going to give me a mandate to go back to the work for the people of new jersey and finish the job.

>> here's the question. are you a mod roerate or a conservative? here's how the blog in "first read" described that criticism. they write this. if christie does run for president, this is exactly the line of attack his republican rivals will pursue. this guy is not one of us. he's from new jersey . his state has legalized gay marriage . he's expanded medicaid and he's expressed some gun control and pro- immigration reform views.

>> what's the question?

>> are you a moderate or a conservative?

>> david , listen. i don't get into these labels. that's the washington , d.c. game, and what all those men and women down there play. look at my record. we're spending less today in 2014 fiscal year than we did in 2008 in real dollars . we've cut business taxes by $2.3 billion. 143,000 new private sector jobs. reformed teacher tenure to put accountability in the classroom for the first time in 100 years and reformed a pension and benefits system and retirement pension in new jersey to save $120 billion for the taxpayers over the next 30 years. judge me by my record. that i'm very, very comfortable with. all the labels? that's for the folks in washington , d.c., and obviously they love playing that game, but the people of america aren't interested in that game. i think given the approval ratings in washington , they've shown that.

>> yet the wall street journal about your economic record completed this on wednesday. it's the biggest disappointment, the state jobless rate is still 8.5%, among the 10 highest in the country. it's true he inherited a mess, but mr. christie will need a new reform agenda in 2014 to impress national gop voters in 2016 .

>> we're going to complete the job we started. we brought unemployment down by half, we created 143,000 private sector jobs in a state i do admit was an absolute mess. the highest taxed state in america since i got there and we've improved the situation. i never said the job was done. if the job was done, i wouldn't run for a second term. why bother? i would just ride off into the sunset. we have a lot of work still to do and we're going to continue to do it. that's why i asked for a second term and four more years, to continue to control spending, lower taxes, and continue to improve economic opportunity in our state . that's exactly what i'm going to do.

>> on obama care, the president apologized about the promise that wasn't kept with the individual market. do you think obama care is doomed? do you think the republican party has an obligation to make it work at this point?

>> listen, i think obama care was a mistake. i've said that right from the beginning. i think it's a failed policy. that's why we did not institute state -based exchanges, and you can see exactly why when you see the disaster that's happening right now. the fact of the matter is, the president didn't tell folks the truth about what was going to happen with their own private insurance policies . and what i urged him to do for the last two weeks when i've been on the campaign trail is tell people the truth. that's the thing they expect, and i think that's why we've gotten the support we've gotten in new jersey . whether it's good news or bad news, i tell folks in new jersey the hard truth they need to hear. even when they disagree with me, david , they've come around to support me because they say at least this guy is looking us in the eye and telling us the truth. i think the president failed that test, unfortunately, on obama care because that's unfortunate for the country. but i never have favored obama care. it's a failed policy. we all know that, and the fact is the president needs to own up to it and tell folks the truth.

>> all right, governor chris christie . a lot more to come from you, i'm sure, as we move forward. we'll be watching you closely there in new jersey and beyond. thank you for your time this morning. i appreciate it.

>> david , thanks for having me on. i appreciate it.

>>> and coming up here, president obama 's apology over his obama care promise. is it enough? our roundtable joins me. joe scarborough , doris kearns goodwin , mark halperin and congresswoman donna edwards . plus harry smith with a "meet the press" video essay as we approach a special moment in american history . we're back after a short break.