Meet the Press   |  December 01, 2013

4: Policy update, both foreign and domestic

Chuck Todd talks about the American political landscape and a roundtable reviews hot-button foreign relation issues.

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

>>> here now, some of this week's images to remember.

>>> i did love the guy on twitter pour me coffee who wrote, good job today, sports.

>> i'm still shell shocked.

>> we're not talking about any more reports because we're running out of time . but you're here with first read sunday. a lot to look forward to in the week ahead. surely they can get a budget deal with everything going so well on health care .

>> on december 13, house republican paul ryan when it comes to the budget, nancy pelosi , they have to come up with a top line number that they're agreeing to saying in order to avoid a shutdown in january. remember, we ran out of funding in january, so december 13 is when they have to come up with this line, and i don't want to get into sequester and all these issues, but it has come to just this very small agreement. i think they will. democrats have a little leverage here, david, because republicans don't want the story to get away from health care , so democrats could use that to get a little more of their way.

>> as we get into 2014 , the election year, do the republicans have a shot in the senate?

>> i think they door, but there's one more big retirement we're looking at, thad from mississippi. are there some democrats that just don't like it in the senate? you always hear mark wariner doesn't like it. there's no sign he's going to retire. does lindsey graham get all these challenges from the right? that is the decision we're trying to find out. the big takeaway, no matter what happens in 2014 , the senate is getting more conservative, period.

>> we'll get into a discussion on foreign policy , starting with this healafghanistan deadline.

>> karzai won't sign this deal. susan rice went over to save it and she couldn't save it with the president. they're saying, what's going on? i thought you agreed to this whole deal. does the president himself have to get this done? they can't seem it get this done by the end of the year.

>> here and reporting over the weekend, president rouhani in iran saying, we're going to enrich uranium. is there any reason to think that iran gives up its nuclear option ?

>> no. iran is now cementing that. rouhani went on an interview with the sentinel times, and this is creating big problems with iran 's neighbors. they all gave up their right to enrich and the saudis already paid for a nuclear program . pakistan, all they have to do is call that debt in and say, send it over. proliferation is a real threat, but the question from the white house is, what are the options?

>> isn't it a question, too, about who gets to decide about israel having its own nuclear capacity? does the united states have the ability to direct that?

>> no, but our policy should be those who have it should keep it and those who don't shouldn't get it. that's the root of stability in the middle east and we're losing that. the problem with iran is it's not like negotiating with the soviets in the '80ls. the iranians still believe in the resolution. they still have that religious ferv fervor. that's why it's dangerous. they have religious fervor combined with nuclear weapons . it's just bad.

>> you've got issues like afghanistan, but principally iran , that could become an even larger issue here in his second term, the president's second term, that could crowd out these other issues. does it concern you?

>> it really doesn't concern me, because underneath all that, americans are war weary. i think it was very clear in 2008 , 2012 . people want other options on the table. so, you know, what is your other option? you have to come up with something else because there is no tolerance for us to enter into another war.

>> what about what's happening with china ? give me a brief primer on that. the president is talking about a pivot to asia and now you have china not so comfortable with that, flexing its muscles in east china .

>> there is threatening. china declaring ownership over these uninhabited islands . it's a direct challenge to japan . the u.s. says it will stand by japan . the vice president is going to tokyo on a previously planned trip arriving tomorrow and then on to china . we stand with japan , we're sending our b-52s but we're warning commercial aviation to stay out of that zone without properly warning the chinese. we don't want to recognize china 's unilateral demand that it owns this disputed territory, and a confrontation could ensue.

>> china will assert its importance, yet diplomatically, militarily, even perhaps economically in 2014 , it may not be the u.s.' equal on these questions.

>> it's really a psychological problem. china is an extreme inferiority complex. it's like a lot of people in washington, actually. how do you deal with someone like that? my view is you just embrace them and keep them in the order. a constant embrace.

>> we're going to leave it there. thank you all for the discussion today. appreciate it very much. that is it for us today. we'll be back next week, in new york next week. if it's sunday it's "meet the press."