This is a rush transcript from "MediaBuzz," November 15, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: We'll get to our interviews with three Presidential Candidates, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, and Marco Rubio in a few moments, but first we are following the expanding investigation into Friday's appalling terror attacks in Paris. Fox News senior foreign affairs correspondent Greg Palkot is live in Paris with the latest, Greg.
GREG PALKOT, FOX NEWS SENIOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Howard, we are in front of Bataclan musical here in Paris where 89 young concert-goers were mowed down by attackers where increasingly the public is coming to lay flowers, to pay their respects to those who those their lives. One of the suspected attackers was identified here, or should I say his finger was identified, a fingerprint from that finger identified him as a French national. Earlier today, the Belgian prosecutor said two more French nationals living in Belgium were identified as attackers as well, home- grown terrorists all.
At the national stadium, a few miles from where we are, 65,000 spectators were terrorized by other suicide bombers. A Syrian passport has been found. Now two different countries are saying that, yes, that passport was used by a migrant who came in from Turkey in the past month, perhaps smuggling some terror. All told seven attackers have been said to have died in this reign of terror here in the center of Paris. At least one attacker it is reported is being sought. The rundown of the casualties,
109 of the 129 killed have been identified, 352 injured, 99 severely, several of those we are told are Americans, there is one American identified as killed.
Her name is Noemi Gonzalez, she's a 23-year-old college student from Long Beach, California. She was here -- semester abroad, finally throughout Paris today, thousands of troops, soldiers, police out, more closures, the louver, the Eiffel Tower, parks, even the Sunday markets. I have never seen anything quite like this. One more note, Howard, the crush of international media here as well, from all countries, not just the United States, a sign of how significant, how potentially grave this attack was and what the repercussions might be, back to you, Howard.
KURTZ: All right, Greg Palkot in Paris, thanks very much. You're watching "MediaBuzz," I'm Howard Kurtz. And joining me now for the hour, Mercedes Schlapp, a former Bush White House Spokeswoman and now a Consultant and Columnist for U.S. News, so how much does this transform the campaign and how much will the media now focus on terror and ISIS -- say beyond the next few days?
MERCEDES SCHLAPP, FORMER BUSH WHITE HOUSE SPOKESWOMAN: Sure. I think we're starting to see the media telling the story that this impact the Presidential campaign. We know the candidates came out strong on their statements on what we need to do in order to push back on ISIS. And so this is something that although we're talking about it today and the media is incredibly focused on, Howie, we have short-term memory loss, and this can change. In February, we might go back to personality and character fights within the GOP party, but right now the focus is on what's happening, who has the temperament and right leadership who can lead this nation against ISIS.
KURTZ: Yes, that certainly looms how long will the media focus -- stay on this because I plead guilty, we do have a short attention span in this business. Let me turn to the Presidential campaign and what was making a lot of news before Paris was what Donald Trump said was a 95-minute rant in a speech in Iowa, where he went after just about everybody, including Ben Carson and made fun with his belt buckle about the stabbing incident, that Carson talked about when he was 14 years old. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you're pathological, there's no cure for that, folks. I said that if you're a child molester, a sick puppy, you're a child molester there is no cure for that. How stupid are the people of Iowa? How stupid are the people of this country to believe this crap?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: A lot of the coverage suggesting that Trump kind of went over the deep end. New York Times headline, some see Trump attacks as start of his downfall. How often have we seen that?
SCLAPP: Exactly. How often have we seen that? Through the summer and the fall, I think the media though this could be the gotcha moments. We don't see the numbers going down. Trump supporters will be Trump supporters. It was interesting because I think Ben Carson came out and said he denied that Trump made that comparison to him in being a child molester. So even Ben Carson kind of -- not defended Trump, but stood back a little bit.
KURTZ: Trying to deflect, trying not to get into a mud fight with Donald Trump. I wonder now -- Trump and other Republican candidates talking about what we need to do against ISIS, and it came up in the Democratic debate last night, too. We'll get to that a bit later in the program. Again, I think the two story lines are going to merge, terrorism, ISIS, Obama administration, Hillary Clinton as part of the Obama administration, and media now asking these questions.
SCLAPP: And the Syrian refugee crisis. Remember, we started seeing the photos of the families, some of them that drowned off the coast of Greece, for example, that's what the media covering. All of a sudden it's been that one of these could have been a Syrian refugee, or infiltrated the Syrian refugee groups that were coming into Europe. And again, this is going to change the story line significantly.
KURTZ: Right. But it's worth noting that as the candidates call for more aggressive action against ISIS, nobody besides perhaps Lindsey Graham, talking sending more U.S. troops on the ground.
SCLAPP: So far.
KURTZ: That's a good point. Let me circle now to the Fox Business Debate this week in Milwaukee. I was there. We'll show some of the interviews in a moment. We'll also talk to Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo who moderated the debate. It was advertised as a serious, no nonsense, focused on the economy debate. How do you think the moderators did?
SCLAPP: I think that Fox Business should be incredibly proud. I think that Neil and Maria both pretty much talked about the issues. It was substantive. You can actually talk about the differences and policies between the candidates. It was less about the mudslinging personality fights and more about what the candidates actually stand for. These are the types of debates that the American people and the GOP voters want to see. And again, nowadays what are we seeing, Howie, we're looking at judging the moderator. Is the moderator doing an effective job, Neil and Maria both did an excellent job in this debate.
KURTZ: So the media critics are saying it was too soft or too dull.
Substance doesn't always sizzle.
SCLAPP: Well, it doesn't always sizzle but that's why you have the candidates to come in and bring in their memorable one-liners, which many did, but at this point they were turning into fights between the candidates and their personality. I think we were tired of hearing about the character fights, and I think Fox Business led the way on that.
KURTZ: Biggest number by far in the channel's history, and the CBS debate with the Democrats also pretty serious. We'll talk about that later, Mercy.
All right, Ben Carson has been under assault as you know by the media over details and discrepancies and the way he tells his life story. I talked to him about that at the debate in Milwaukee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Ben Carson, welcome.
DR. BEN CARSON, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you.
KURTZ: You used words like garbage and lies and smear to describe the recent wave of stories about your past, are you saying that organizations like Politico and CNN and the Wall Street Journal are deliberately trying to damage you?
CARSON: Yes, to put it simply.
CARSON: Because when you deliberately lie and you put that out as a story, or you do shabby investigations, and you say we've investigated and we can't find anything, I mean, is that an acceptable standard? You're the media, is that acceptable?
KURTZ: Generally, journalists have to nail down a story before they publish it or broadcast it.
CARSON: Right. So I don't have a problem with people looking at my past.
I don't have any problem whatsoever with being vetted, but when people are outright dishonest, that's worrisome to me. You know the media, the press is the only business protected by the constitution. There's a reason for that. That trust has been granted them, and it should be earned.
KURTZ: Why do you think they have it in for you?
CARSON: That's probably something you should investigate as a journalist, and investigate it honestly. Why would they? What would be their motivation? Would it have anything to do with the fact that -- you know, I am doing well in head to head with Hillary? Maybe that's their chosen candidate? I don't know.
KURTZ: You certainly get more scrutiny when you move up in the polls, you understand that?
CARSON: Scrutiny is one thing, but blatant lies are another.
KURTZ: To the extent you've talked about the role of your co-author that there have been any discrepancies or less than fully clear phrases, do you take some responsibility for that?
CARSON: Of course. When you're talking about things that happened decades ago, you know, for instance the number of the course at Yale. You know, the likelihood of me remembering the number of that course decades later is pretty small. You know, with ROTC, you know, the real story, if they were really interested would be how did this guy join ROTC late and make it all the way to the top? How does that happen? That's a great story, but no, they say I think he might have gotten the dates wrong here on when this occurred.
KURTZ: Couple of conservative commentators has described what's been happening to you -- in their view as a journalistic lynching. Do you think there's a racial aspect to it?
CARSON: I hope not. I think they are just concerned about someone who may not be controllable by them, someone who doesn't go along with the progressive agenda.
KURTZ: So as a black conservative, you think you're perhaps being treated differently?
CARSON: As I said, I hope it doesn't have anything to do with being black.
And it's too bad that it has anything to do with being conservative quite frankly. We live in a pluralistic society. Should we be actually engaging in a conversation about the things before we disagree? If you don't have a good argument, I can see why you would try to demonize the other person rather than engage in an argument.
KURTZ: You said you think the media attacks are helping you, but could they also be sowing the seeds of doubt?
CARSON: Well, let's put it this way, if I had a choice of having media attacks or not having them, I would go with not having them.
KURTZ: So would most candidates. Donald Trump picking up on a word in your book, now says you have a pathological disease, and he hopes you're all right, your response?
CARSON: Well, I said I had a pathological temper. Anybody who thinks of pathological disease and pathological temper probably doesn't know what the term means.
KURTZ: But you have felt an importance to write about this because you want to show the journey that your life has taken you, because a lot of candidates would not be anxious to volunteer such information.
CARSON: You know I believe in full disclosure. And if I hadn't revealed that, then that would be a story, because then they would be -- do you know what this guy did?
KURTZ: They would bring it up. And finally, you talk about the role of god in your life, helping to guide your career, helping you decide to run for President. Do you think some in the media portray that as strange?
CARSON: There are clearly those who feel that anybody who is a person of faith is archaic in their thinking.
KURTZ: Dr. Carson thanks very much for joining us.
CARSON: It's a pleasure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Mercy, Ben Carson didn't -- the question, he said Politico, Wall Street Journal, CNN deliberately out to get him with blatant lies, what did you make of that?
SCLAPP: I think it was a very strong statement. I don't know to what point that the news media is trying to deliberately damage him. It's their jobs to report the stories. With that being said, there's been sloppy reporting. They've been fuzzy on the reporting.
KURTZ: Sure, criticize the stories, inflammatory...
SCLAPP: Deliberately is a little strong, but I do have to say really the news outlets got this wrong in terms of Politico having to change its headline, not stating the story correctly.
KURTZ: Let me jump in and ask you what you thought just briefly of the way in which he deflected the Donald Trump pathological disease attack rather than punching back?
SCLAPP: Again, this is what people love about Ben Carson. The fact Ben Carson doesn't have to go and put on the boxing gloves to go out there and try to take down Trump. He's running his campaign. He doesn't feel he needs to go after Donald Trump. He lets Donald Trump say what he needs to say. The most interesting comment is not that he didn't prefer not to have the media attacks. I have to tell you the media attacks have actually helped his campaign, it definitely shows the fact that the GOP voters are saying we choose Ben Carson over the media anytime.
KURTZ: All right, more on Presidential Candidates ahead, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie sounding off of on the media. But when we come back, a behind the scenes look at the Fox Business Debate, how Maria Bartiromo felt about being booed.
KURTZ: President Obama meeting with the Turkish President said today in Turkey the killing of innocent people based on a twisted ideology is not just an attack on France, not just on Turkey, but an attack on the civilized world. Fox's Catherine Herridge confirming a New York Times report that the administration is sending FBI agents to Paris to assist with the investigation.
Turning now to this week's Fox Business Debate, I sat down in Milwaukee with Maria Bartiromo, the host of Sunday Morning Futures before this program and the FBN show Mornings with Maria.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Maria Bartiromo, welcome.
MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX NEWS HOST: Hello, Howie. Good to see you.
KURTZ: So you advertised quite openly no gotcha questions at the debate.
Why did you take that approach?
BARTIROMO: I didn't want to have a gotcha question. I wanted a-ha moment.
I wanted to be the one, along with Neil Cavuto and Gerard Baker, to division between the candidates. And frankly it's not about me. I wasn't interested muds fight. I was more interested in substance and really getting details because we haven't had a lot of specifics, Howie.
KURTZ: But you're helping to drive the debate and you're trying to get the candidates to engage, so it's partially about you. Was there any was to avoid being influenced by sort of train wrecks debate that you're -- there was so much media bashing afterwards, did that weigh on you a bit?
BARTIROMO: I got to tell you, it really didn't, because I always thought we have to be about substance. We were three debates in, and I still don't have a clear understanding of how -- for example, Rand Paul's tax plans differs from Ted Cruz's and differs Jeb Bush's. I knew it, but I didn't think the public knew it in general. So I was planning that even before the CNBC debate. But certainly after the CNBC debate and that barrage of media coverage, I think it was more important than ever, the stakes got higher in terms of ensuring that we kept to the details and kept to the issue.
KURTZ: This is high-wire act, because you're trying to go pretty deep on the substance of getting into the IMF, the Fed, interest rates, jobs, and taxes, you're dealing with a general audience, not a business audience, and candidates maybe don't want to -- is it a different balancing act to get the details, but it also has to be good television?
BARTIROMO: You're absolutely right. It has to be fun. And in fact, you know I was thinking about it last night, ok, the public keeps saying we want specifics. We'll see if they really do want specifics when we see who was watching. Look, our business is television and its entertainment, so you really do have to inform as well as entertain. I left that to the candidates. I said these issues are important, I have to make sure to make these less complicated, make sure to have the viewer understand why these things are important. I am going to leave it to the candidates to entertain by just mixing it up.
KURTZ: I think that was the key thing. At one point one of your questions you got booed by the audience.
BARTIROMO: I know it. That was my favorite point of the night, frankly, because I got to tell you, I really do believe that most GOP voters, I think all GOP voters, they have one question in front of all the other questions, and that is who on that stage is going to be able to beat Hillary Clinton.
KURTZ: And you cited Hillary Clinton's resume, first lady, Senator...
BARTIROMO: It's a fair question, Howie. Look, when you look at -- this is the question that people are going to be asking themselves in the general election, so why not get it on the table. You're right. When I recited her resume and called it impressive resume given she was the first lady, Secretary of State and Senator I got booed, but I kept driving it because I knew this was an important question for voters.
KURTZ: Even boos don't slow her down. Maria Bartiromo thanks very much for joining.
BARTIROMO: Thank you, Howie. Good to see you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Up next, Neil Cavuto on his question about Ben Carson's credibility, and what he wishes he had had time to ask. And late, Marco Rubio why he believes the media is obsessed with his personal finances.
KURTZ: New video has surfaced from Friday night in Paris showing the moment gunfire broke out during the rock concert at the Bataclan theater. The American band, the Eagles of Death Metal were on stage. We've learned that one of the band's managers and the music executive from the band's label was among those killed, the group now cancelling the rest of its European tour.
Neil Cavuto has some second thoughts about he and all the Presidential debate, I sad down in Milwaukee with Fox's senior vice president, the host of "Your World" here on FNC and Cavuto Coast to Coast on Fox Business.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Neil Cavuto, welcome.
Front page of USA Today, what, substance. You said that your goal was to be invisible during the debate, did you succeed?
NEIL CAVUTO, FOX'S SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT: I am a pretty big guy, so that might be a push, but my real goal was to get it off the moderators. It's human nature to think that.
KURTZ: All media bashing surrounding these other debates, particularly CNBC.
CAVUTO: And it's the age we live in. I mean I think that some of the best debates I can remember may be -- you know, pre-new testament, I guess, is they were judged by the quality of the answers, not by the sharpness of the questions or even the controversial nature of the questions.
KURTZ: Does that mean toning it down in a way that you wouldn't do (Inaudible).
CAVUTO: I do think it's a different environment. It's very, very different, especially when you're moderating it with a lot of candidates and there are other moderators. It's not a one on one like we're doing now. It's very different. Having said that -- I am not oblivious to the fact that it has to be better entertaining, engaging, it's has got to move.
It can't be like C-Span, nothing wrong with C-Span. My point is you have got to keep it moving, and I think these candidates -- they have strong personalities as you know and just keep the debate going.
KURTZ: This debate was as advertised tightly focused on the economy, but you did ask Ben Carson what I would call the elephant in the room question, about all the attacks on his life story. Did you feel like you couldn't let the two hours go by that you had to take -- get that...
CAVUTO: There's a lot of edit room. I would love to have gotten into the University of Missouri issue, more of these issues that dominate this region. But as things go on and candidates are slicing and dicing each other up, we're throwing questions away left and right. We have to make some audibles that I am not always happy with, but one of the things I really wanted to pursue with Carson is why that isn't germane? My only question I knew, because I knew there wouldn't be a chance to ask ten questions, does it hurt your brand if your brand is all about being above you?
That it's not about the messenger, it's about the message, but if the messenger is tainted, which is the convoluted way I was trying to get across...
KURTZ: He got it.
CAVUTO: Who knows, if it was a one on one like this, there would be time to pursue that, but there are a host of other issues, other moderators, so you're always damming yourself.
KURTZ: Donald Trump was relatively restrained. I saw him in the spin room after the debate, and he said that was by design.
CAVUTO: It was very interesting. Not to bore you, but there were a couple points -- all the candidates try to get your attention. During the commercial breaks a common refrain was like, I need more time.
KURTZ: What about me?
CAVUTO: What about me? And the irony it would come from candidates who had more than enough time. But the one thing I do immediately take away from this debate is Trump holding back. He got a zinger in Carly, but it was weird, because he didn't do it -- I don't want to take the leap to say Presidential, but he was definitely toning himself down a bit, and trying to save himself.
KURTZ: It was about 10, maybe 15 minutes where the candidates were busting past the time limits, where I wondered if it would be out of control. Were you nervous at all?
CAVUTO: Well, we had the 90-second rule, which is 30 seconds longer than the typical response. What we didn't calculate is so many would want to dive in on that 60-second response. The rule of thumb is if I am talking about Donald Trump and I am Jeb Bush, then obviously Trump can respond in
60 seconds to whatever was said. What we didn't calculate was also every other person would want to try to get in. You have the bell, invariably they ignore the bell and even given more time, they still take it and then some.
In retrospect, I wish if I like to tighten that up -- a lot of questions went by the waist side, we're frantically talking amongst ourselves -- it kills you, and this isn't going to see the light of air now, these ISIS question, and I notice many sites today are saying they didn't get into this issue and didn't -- and it's fair game.
KURTZ: Two hours, eight people, you can't get to everything. But it certainly was a substantive outing, Neil Cavuto, thanks very much for joining us.
CAVUTO: Thank you very much, Howie. I appreciate it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Speaking of time constraints, I also talked to Trish Reagan and Sandra Smith who moderated the under card debate. Due to breaking news, we'll put that interview for you online.
Ahead on "MediaBuzz," we'll have the latest headlines from the terror investigation in Paris.
Plus, Marco Rubio on what he calls the media's double standard or whether he's growing skittish on illegal immigration.
KURTZ: A Belgian official tells the A.P. that seven people have been detained in that country for possible links to the Paris attacks, this as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says it's time for the world to wake up to the threat of Islamic extremism and should also condemn Palestinian attacks against the Jewish state.
The media say Marco Rubio is the hot candidate of the moment after his strong performance in the Fox Business Debate, but the Senator not so enamored of the way he's been covered. We sat down very early in the morning in Milwaukee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Marco Rubio, welcome.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you.
KURTZ: You said the media has a double standard when it comes to conservatives, but you got plenty of good coverage. There are some pundits who say you could emerge to win this nomination. Do you think the press has been unfair personally?
RUBIO: It's not unfair to me personally. It's part of the territory, but I think Hillary Clinton has a hearing on Benghazi where it's clear she lied. She was being told repeatedly by foreign leaders and she was telling foreign leaders that the attack on the consulate was not part of an uprising, that it was an organized attack, that she was telling family members, and then she was telling relatives of the victims something completely different, and the American public something different. That's a big deal. The media ignores that, and instead they focus on...
KURTZ: That was a nice pivot to Hillary.
RUBIO: But in their analysis, their argument was she had the greatest week of her campaign, and they completely ignored she been exposed as a liar when it came to Benghazi.
KURTZ: Been a lot of media focus on your finances, you cashed in an IRA, you bought an $80,000 boat, there was a business about repaying a few personal charges on a Republican Party credit card, which you settled years ago in Florida. Do you sometimes feel like you're penalized for not being wealthy?
RUBIO: Yeah, absolutely. It's not about penalized. I think it's absurd.
Mitt Romney was too rich to rich to be President, but I am not rich enough?
Maybe my first 10, 15 years of my marriage looked more like the people I represent than the people I served with. Instead of looking at that and our understanding of why that makes me so passionate about the issues facing the American people, they focus on why I didn't follow the advice of some financial adviser who analyzed my finances -- instead of that.
The truth is I have invested whatever we made for my children. All four of them have their college paid off for their first four years so they don't have take out student loans. The only debt I have is my home in Miami, which four blocks from the house I grew up. That's the true analysis. The media is not just driven by bias, it's also driven by conflict. They want a story or scandal.
KURTZ: The media are driven by conflict, I will grant you that. Speaking of conflict, New York Times reporting that Jeb Bush's super-Pac is contemplating a $20 million negative ad blitz against you, particularly highlighting your position on abortion, saying you could be unelectable.
That's some pretty heavy tonnage. How would you react?
RUBIO: I can save them $20 million by telling you right now I am pro-life, because I believe all human life is worthy of the protection of our laws.
It's a tough issue.
KURTZ: But you have voted in the past for some bills with exceptions for...
RUBIO: As President, I will support and sign any legislation that saves lives, even if it has exceptions. I don't personally require exceptions, but if there is a bill before me that saves lives by preventing abortions after 20 weeks or whatever, I will sign it even if it has exceptions.
KURTZ: Jeb Bush of course, was your mentor in Florida, isn't this uncomfortable?
RUBIO: Again, I'm not running against Jeb Bush. I'm running for President.
KURTZ: Only one person is getting this nomination.
RUBIO: I understand, so it's a competitive environment. I have respect for him, but this election is about the future.
KURTZ: Jeb Bush and John Kasich were among -- mixing it up with Donald Trump on the issue of immigration, I know your position on immigration. I am wondering, you didn't jump in, I'm wondering if you feel skittish, because you were part of an effort to forge a congressional compromise that fizzled and some say hurt you with your party.
RUBIO: Well, I think one of the reasons I wasn't even asked, because my position on immigration is the best understood of all the people on that stage.
KURTZ: You could have jumped in and raised your hand.
RUBIO: I have stated it and talked about it so many times, but I am more than happy to talk about it whenever I am asked.
KURTZ: As you know, Donald Trump wants to deport the 11 million illegal immigrants and then let some back in.
RUBIO: I think we need a realistic, but responsible approach to that problem. Also you prove to people that illegal immigration numbers are significantly down and the issue is under control, you won't be able to do anything.
KURTZ: Media often raise the experience question -- young, ambitious, first-term Senator, as was Barack Obama. How much of an obstacle is this for you?
RUBIO: Barack Obama has seven years of Presidential experience and he's still failing. I admit there are people running who have more experience than I do on the issues we faced 15 years ago, but on the issues before America now, no one has shown a better understanding or judgment on them than I have.
KURTZ: You say year opponents are living in the past.
RUBIO: I am the only one running for President that is offering creative, unique ideas about how we can apply conservatism, limited government, and free enterprise to the unique challenges of new and rapidly changing era.
This campaign is about the 21st century, and what it will take to make it the American century. I think I am the only one running for President that's making that argument.
KURTZ: I have heard that slogan a few times. Senator Rubio, thanks very much joining us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: And after that debate, Mercedes Schlapp, Slate called Marco Rubio the nominee in waiting. All this good press now, but doesn't that heighten the media scrutiny, particularly on something like this?
SCLAPP: A lot of this is political pundits said he's won all four of them.
As you become -- the poll numbers start rising and you're performing well, the media will keep going after these stories. Really with Rubio, the only area they could focus on are the personal finances, which again I think have for the voters out there have been more about, if he can't handle the finances, can he handle the economy?
KURTZ: I sat there as he did three different morning shows, and they all asked about immigration where he kind of occupies a middle ground.
SCLAPP: On immigration, it was interesting because in the Fox Business Debate, he stepped back and didn't really get involved in the fighting that was happening on stage. One of the questions is -- he's had an issue with sounding a bit muddled on the issue. The conservative media is really paying attention, very carefully to what Marco Rubio is saying on immigration, because he was part of that gang of eight. It was a problem for him with conservative voters. And again, he needs to try to change that narrative.
KURTZ: That's why I asked the question. Thanks.
Coming up, Chris Christie unloads on New York Times, and says other candidates should stop moaning about their coverage.
KURTZ: French President Francois Hollande meeting with opposition leaders today in the wake of the Paris terror attacks that killed 129 people.
Meanwhile, the former French President Nicholas Sarkozy calling for a change in policy, and France could work with Russia to destroy ISIS.
Chris Christie may have relegated to this week's under card debate, but he still has very strong views about the media and everything else. Here is our conversation in the Milwaukee Theater.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Mr. Christie, welcome.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you.
KURTZ: You haven't complained about your media treatment or debate rules.
I notice you're shire and retiring, but do you think some of your rivals are a little too whiney about how they're being covered.
CHRISTIE: Listen, I just don't think that's the way you win the presidency. We all have to live by these rules, and I am going to go out and do the very best I can.
KURTZ: What about media scrutiny.
CHRISTIE: Well, they're new to this, both of them. I have been through two very tough campaigns in New Jersey, I have been an integral part of Mitt Romney's campaign. I have seen the scrutiny. This is what it's like to run for the President of the United States. It's time to buck up and deal with it.
KURTZ: You had an amazing reaction to that speech about drug addiction.
You knew there was a Huffington Post camera there. Did you envision this would go national, not to mention going viral?
CHRISTIE: No, I really didn't. Listen, that's a fairly regular part of my town hall discussion when the issue of addiction comes up. And so no, I didn't anticipate it at all, but I am gratified by the fact that people are plugging into this issue. It's a huge issue. You know this can happen to any family.
KURTZ: I know you don't subscribe to the New York Times editorial page, and there's a Quinnipiac Poll saying you're at eight percent or fourth place in your home state of New Jersey, does either of these two things concern you?
CHRISTIE: No, in fact, the New York Times is a badge of honor. They never will be for me, because I don't carry their liberal banner into national politics. As for everything else, when the New Jersey primary comes in June, I'll win it.
KURTZ: We heard it here. It's on videotape. You were once the media's favorite Republican. Back in 2012, you got a lot of positive press, tough- talking Governor, and then came the George Washington Bridge mess, and were you surprised that how harshly much of the media turned on you.
CHRISTIE: What I was surprised at is how quick to judgment they were, and everything I said after three different investigations, it turned out to be absolutely true. The media who were attacking me and convicting me of something awful turned out to be wrong. But I haven't gotten a letter of apology, but you're not going to get one. That's the way the business works.
CHRISTIE: Yes, and the New York Times and lots of others. You know -- people don't vote for a President of the United States who kicks dirt at the umpire and who is moaning and complaining. What they want is someone who's going to talk about the things they're concerned about, and put forward solutions to fix their problems. That's what I am going to do. I am not going to worry about this other stuff.
KURTZ: Just to clarify, you're not saying that the bridge scandal was not a legitimate story to cover.
CHRISTIE: No, it was the rushed to judgment. One of the media organizations put it out 30 to 40 times more air spent on that than the IRS scandal. I know they have an agenda, and I was at that time just elected as a Governor of a blue state. Here's the bad news for them. Here I am running for President, I am going to win the Republican nomination for President.
KURTZ: So why do you think there's so much emphasis this year on people who have never been part of the political game, and it's almost like their experience makes them, "Insiders."
CHRISTIE: I think it's the anger and the frustration towards Washington, D.C. You know let's face it, especially among Republican voters, we gave our party the house in to 2010, then they asked for the Senate in 2014, and it made no difference so far. Fact is our voters are very angry with the Washington culture. The good news for them is that I'm no part of the Washington, D.C. culture.
KURTZ: You've visited.
CHRISTIE: That's about it. I have been to the Lincoln Memorial. But the fact is they want someone -- when people in the end start to vote on this, they'll be looking at the time as an example.
KURTZ: Governor Christie thanks very much for joining us.
CHRISTIE: Great to see you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: Mercy, what do you make of Chris Christie's response to the New York Times telling him to just get out?
SCLAPP: Well, he said the exact right answer, which is the fact when GOP voters are looking out there and the New York Times is basically attacking a GOP candidate, they're going to want to favor the GOP candidate. He's absolutely right. He knows the media has to play a role in scrutinizing the candidates, but he always answers the question very directly, you have to give him credit on that.
CHRISTIE: All right, when we come back, we'll look at last night's CBS debate with the three Democratic candidates.
KURTZ: Paris is still on high alert today with special services at Notre Dame Cathedral. France beginning three days of national mourning as Pope Francis again condemns the Paris attacks, telling followers in St. Peter's Square that it is blasphemy to use the name of God to justify violence and hatred.
CBS' John Dickerson was the chief moderator at last night's Democratic debate in Iowa and in the wake of the Paris attacks, he put this question to Hillary Clinton:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN DICKERSON, CBS NEWS: Do you agree with that characterization? "Radical Islam."
HILLARY CLINTON, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't we're at war with Islam. I don't we're at war with all Muslims. I think we're at war with jihadists who have...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just to interrupt, he didn't "all Muslims," he just said "radical Islam."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Mercedes Schlapp does that -- that used to be a GOP talking point.
KURTZ: So now here you have CBS host of "Face the Nation" asking the question, does this indicate how the media coverage is changing...
SCLAPP: I think for John Dickerson is the fact that that would be a question maybe you would hear a conservative moderator ask. So I think for us GOP voters to be out there and say wait a second, you have a CBS moderator asking this very valid question, because this has been a point of contention between Republicans and Democrats in using the right terminology. And the fact that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama want to be politically correct and not use the word radical Islam, when we know it's radical Islam, is very fascinating I think for the voters, especially in light of the Paris attacks.
KURTZ: And the Republican Presidential candidates are piling on, Donald Trump and others. At the same time, they're saying, look, we were right about immigration because look what happens when people who want to cause trouble kill Americans is let into the country. Are the media going to be paying more attention or view the immigration question through a new lens?
SCLAPP: Absolutely, because we just are saying that about 10,000 are coming into New Orleans, and the media focus has been, wait a second, now we have 10,000 of these coming in and the fact that President Obama and the administration have agreed to maybe 65,000 coming into the United States.
So a lot of questions are going to be raised by the media. I think these are incredibly important questions to make as well as the fact that these debates will have a primary focus on what are we going to do with these Syrian refugees.
KURTZ: So how did John Dickerson and his CBS colleagues do in handling that Democratic debate?
SCLAPP: According to Politico and to the Daily Beast, they said he was "almost a perfect moderator." I have never quite heard that. But they used a term called disarm charm. He's able to ask these pointed questions, very aggressive, but with a very calm demeanor. Interestingly enough, from a social media standpoint, they were able to bring in twitter with some great questions and I think it really worked well. Unfortunately, it was on Saturday so I don't think many people wanted to watch it.
KURTZ: With the broadcast networks they want to bury these on Saturday night. I am sure they get millions watching but it wouldn't get during primetime during the week. I think John Dickerson did a very good job, particularly on the follow-ups, in which case he was able to try to press Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, whether there were ties to Wall Street or on this question -- they changed the whole debate because of the Paris attacks and that was the right call. Mercedes Schlapp thanks very much for joining us for the hour.
The massacre in Paris on Friday night is one of those events that can permanently alter a Presidential campaign, depending on how long the media keep their focus on the war against terrorism and the threat of ISIS. I'll be watching very carefully on that.
That is it for this edition of "MediaBuzz." I am Howard Kurtz. We hope you'll check us out on twitter and check our Facebook page. We will be back here next Sunday, as always, with the latest Buzz.
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