tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC January 3, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PST
>> announcer: starting right now on abc's "this week" -- it's 2016. with less than a month to iowa, one-time front-runner ben carson making big moves to shake up his campaign. but, will it be too little too late? we're one-on-one with carson, it's an abc news exclusive. and, donald trump's new feud with bill clinton. >> the husband's one of the great abusers in the world. >> did he go too far in his shots against hillary's husband? her top democratic rival is here, weighing in. plus, bill cosby breaks his silence, what he's tweeting now after his sexual assault arrest. >> announcer: from abc news, "this week" with george stephanopoulos begins now. good morning, 2016 is
officially here. and as we ring in the new year, the race to the white house is getting real. candidates prepping for what will certainly be the most intense phase of the campaign so far, the eight-week sprint to super tuesday. the first major challenge, the iowa caucuses just four weeks from tomorrow, where anything is possible. back in 2008, barack obama trailed hillary clinton by double digits. weeks before winning the hawkeye state. then, just eight days after iowa, new hampshire, will the granite's first in the nation primary launch a new comeback kid? the race then heads south, and west, before going nationwide. on super tuesday, march 1st, when polls open in 13 states. amid all of that, seven debates. where we're sure to hear more of the insults, the zingers and the one-liners that have shaped this
campaign. it is a 58-day scramble, make or break for so many. we will be bringing you the latest every step of the way, seeing who will rise, who will stumble and, most importantly, which candidates can bounce back after taking a fall. ben carson is trying to do just that. the one-time front-runner's campaign now in turmoil, he's speaking out this morning, exclusively, right here. first, tom llamas on where the gop race stands as we kick off the scramble to super tuesday. >> reporter: what a difference a year make. a year ago, jeb bush was considered a major 2016 contender. >> so i'm thinking about running for president. >> reporter: and donald trump himself was unsure whether he would run. >> i'm going to give it serious consideration. we may surprise you. you would be surprised. >> i would be shocked. >> reporter: but bush's promise, shock and awe campaign was eclipsed by the brash billionaire to shock them all. >> when mexico sends its people,
they're not sending their best, they're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists. >> reporter: his rising stardom overshadowing the rest of the gop field. >> i have been leading from practically the time i announced. >> reporter: so many candidates they couldn't fit on one stage. but the field has since whittled down. donald trump saying this first week, he'll make his first ad in >> i'll be spending a minimum of $2 million a week. >> reporter: the national front-runner neck and neck with ted cruz in the hawkeye state and marco rubio, branded by some as the party's establishment pick, a rubio donor commissioned this new year's message over the rose bowl game. rubio is great, trump is disgusting. then the candidates who peaked and then ebbed, ben carson chief among them, falling to fourth team.
top staffers resigning as the former neurosurgeon tries to revive his political fortunes. the polls seem to define political gravity in 2015, it's now the voters' turn to decide which shock and awe may lie ahead. for "this week" tom llamas, abc news, new york. >> thanks, tom. let's bring in ben carson joining us exclusively from florida. dr. carson, happy new year. but i want to get right to the question. >> thank you. >> you have less than a month before the iowa caucuses, you have lost a lot of your top aides, what happened? >> well, first of all, whenever you have something that is not working the way you want it to, you have a few choices -- you can double-down on it, you can ignore it or you can analyze it and make appropriate changes. you know, we have had very good
people, they had very good ideals and no one predicted that we would in the hunt. a novice in this area, with no background, no campaign, no funding mechanism, so really it's quite spectacular what we were able to do. but the fact of the matter is, now we're in a different ball game and we need the ability to execute. not just to have good ylgs. ideals. >> were you about to fire those aides, dr. ben carson? >> well, i did a deep dive and one of the things that i learned in my many years in corporate america is that, you have to have the ability to execute a plan, and we didn't really have that. so, i brought in someone who has a lot of experience with execution and, you know, there were some who decided under those circumstances it would be too difficult for them to work. and that's okay. >> but were you going to fire
barry bennett, the campaign manager, and your communications director? that's a simple question. >> i was going to make some very substantial changes and mr. bennett decided that he could not live with those changes. that's okay. it doesn't diminish anything that he's done. >> one of the things that barry bennett said to the associated press said about your campaign, he said, you have to surround yourself with good people and he has not demonstrated that he can do that. and you said, wisdom is every bit as important as knowledge and perhaps an even more important qualification for the job of president, being able to choose trusted and capable thought leaders. shouldn't people question now whether you can choose good adviser advisers -- >> well, i think people should watch very carefully and see if in fact that's exactly what we have done.
again, when things are not working the way you want them to, you analyze them and you make the appropriate changes in order to be able to accomplish your goals. i think that will become very, very apparent within the next few weeks. >> your campaign described this as an enhancement, what needed enhancement, what was missing? what were they doing that you did not like? specifics. >> it was very difficult to execute plans, for instance, you know, getting our policies out, you know, we talked and talked but they don't seem to get out. and i want them out. i want people to be able to analyze and talk about them. i think that was a huge thing. and also, a culture. i want a culture of openness, not a culture of control. and there were a lot of people saying we have these great ideals but we can't get answer or a response. and, again, not throwing anybody under the bus.
but those are things that really don't work well for a campaign. >> and what about armstrong williams, mr. carson? what about armstrong williams? some say he's the root of the problem, your confidant. >> well, you know, like anybody, he's made some bad judgments, there's no question about it. he's a friend. he's a valuable individual. but, you know, we can't have people working at cross purposes, and that's one of the things that has to be fixed and is being fixed and is fixed at this point. >> so, armstrong williams will continue to advise you. i want to move on to some of the headlines this morning, saudi arabia has put to death a prominent shiite cleric in a mass execution. iran's supreme leader said there will be divine revenge. what is your reaction to what saudi arabia has done? >> well, you know, the saudis have been one of our strongest
allies in the middle east and i think it's unfortunate that we put them in the position that we have by showing the support to iran that we have with this foolish deal and, you know, there's no reason for the saudis to believe that we're really on their side. when we do things like that. and it won't be surprising if they're not looking to have a nuclear program soon and everybody else -- we have to look at the consequences of what we're doing. >> let's get back to the issue of mass execution -- look at this execution of this shiite cleric he had criticized them for suppressing protests in the arab spring and he was executed. >> i don't condone that by any stretch of the imagination. of course, we don't condone that kind of thing. i'm just saying, we need to stop doing silly things that promote these kind of activities. that's what i'm saying.
>> okay, and the islamic militant group in somalia, al shabaab, released a recruitment video which shows footage of donald trump proposing that muslims should be temporarily barred from entering the united states, would you try to counter that image of the u.s.? you early on said, you would question whether a muslim should be president. >> i question whether a muslim who wants sharia law can be a president. it's not consistent with our constitution. there's no backing away from that, and the fact of the matter is, political correctness will destroy us if we don't wake up. and we need to expose things like the things that came out during the holy land foundation trial. where they said that foolishness of americans and their political correctness will help us to be able to accomplish civilization jihad. we've got to be smart. this is not a traditional war.
where you have a battle group there and you have a battle group here and heir fighting each other. we have to understand how we have to anticipate. we have to know that they're going to be shifting over to libya right now, which is a huge problem for us, lot of oil there, strategic location, you go across the water, northern and you're into southern europe, south susan, chad, you know, niger, a tremendous opportunity for them. we need to be undermining their possibilities of establishing caliphate right now. let's not wait until they do it. >> should donald trump watch what he says? to stay out of those recruiting videos. >> we should all be careful about what we say. but the fact of the matter is, let's not get so concerned about how offended our enemies are and let's pay a whole lot more attention to who we are and how do we protect our people here in the united states.
>> thanks very much for joining us, dr. carson, good to see you. >> always good to see you, thank you. so, can ben carson survive his massive campaign shakeup? the powerhouse roundtable is here to take on that very big question. with me, alex castellanos, chairman of purple strategies and founder of newrepublican.org. democratic strategist and cnn political commentator van jones. national political columnist for yahoo! news, matt bai, and alice stewart. alex, i want to start with you, i saw you furiously taking notes during that interview, what do you make of that? >> well, i think the good doctor's campaign needs a doctor. it's in serious trouble. and that's important for a couple of reasons. he was the cap on ted cruz. and as he's diminished cruz's unleashed.
which is not very healthy for the republican party. but carson is still the sole of the republican party in many ways. he's kind of the moral and spiritual leader. that's an important thing. but once consumers buy a product, take it home, try it, and then decide, not happy with it, put it back on the shelf, they're not likely to go back and buy it again. it's going to be very hard for dr. carson to medically revive his campaign. >> alice, you were the communications director for mike huckabee, you stepped down. >> here's the thing, ben carson has had a tremendous record. he had a phenomenal start in the presidential campaign, there's no doubt about that. but at this stage in the game, one month out from the iowa caucus, this isn't what you want to be talking about and you can get a sense of how he's running his campaign. how he would possibly do in the white house. and with a shakeup like this, it's not good. >> matt can he survive?
people have cleaned house but not so close to the caucuses. >> one of my favorite stories from my book, is when gary hart gets back in the race and he gets 0% in iowa. and martin o'malley was his campaign aide. he apologized. he told martin, this isn't an organizational problem. what ben carson has is not an organizational problem, he hasn't met the bar that voters have. and i think you can do all of the shakeups you want at this late date. >> at one point people thought he would be just fine. >> you have seen this before. listen, in the 2012 cycle, you have the flavor of the month, the one person he needs to fire on his campaign is ben carson, that's the reality. he had a shot, he was in the lead, but when you can't tell the difference between hummus and hamas, you're not going to be able to survive in a presidential campaign. there's a level of narcissism
here, and you saw it in the interview. he was happy to talk about all these internal details. here's a guy who spent most of his career telling people take personal responsibility. >> i disagree. i think he's certainly a little lost. he didn't talk about fixing the big problem, which is people want a president as big as our fears and as strong as our adversaries right now. he doesn't seem to be that. he got in because he thinks america needs a moral renewal, it's almost a spiritual cause, and i think that's a good and decent thing and has a place in the republican party. >> okay, you'll all be back in a few minutes. but next, we're just getting started. donald trump versus bill clinton. the battle gets raw with the brash billionaire attacking president clinton's past. are those attacks fair? and we have democratic contender bernie sanders right here to tell us what he thinks about the growing feud. plus, new details in that
sexual assault arrest of comedy legend bill cosby, why was he charged so many years after all those accusations. back in just two minutes. >> announcer: "this week" with george stephanopoulos is connected by blackberry priv. nnected by blackberry priv. omeoe with alzheimer's means i am a lot of things. i am his sunshine. i am his advocate. so i asked about adding once-daily namenda xr to his current treatment for moderate to severe alzheimer's. it works differently. when added to another alzheimer's treatment, it may improve overall function and cognition. and may slow the worsening of symptoms for a while. vo: namenda xr doesn't change how the disease progresses. it shouldn't be taken by anyone allergic to memantine, or who's had a bad reaction to namenda xr or its ingredients. before starting treatment, tell their doctor if they have, or ever had, a seizure disorder, difficulty passing urine, liver, kidney or bladder problems, and about medications they're taking. certain medications, changes in diet, or medical conditions
whfight back fastts tums smoothies starts dissolving the instant it touches your tongue and neutralizes stomach acid at the source tum, tum, tum, tum smoothies! only from tums that's hillary clinton's top rival bernie sanders there working the crowds this week on new year's eve. in just a moment, bernie sanders will join me, but first, we go inside the growing feud between donald trump and bill clinton. who's about to hit the campaign trail for his wife hillary. as abc news' cecilia vega reports, trump's new attacks on his former friend bill clinton are dominating the democratic race in the new year. >> reporter: a year ago, it seemed the presidency might be hillary clinton's race to lose. who would have thought 12 months
later a democratic socialist from vermont and a billionaire reality tv star would pose the biggest threat to her dream? >> are you ready for a radical ideal? >> reporter: her main challenger, senator bernie sanders, continues to draw large and enthusiastic crowds. >> we have received 2.5 million individual contributions, more than any campaign in the history of the united states of america. >> reporter: and this week, a twist -- ugly attacks from a former friend. just a few years ago, trump had nothing but praise for the clintons. >> hillary is a great friend of mine. her husband is a great friend of mine. they're fantastic people. >> reporter: now aiming his attacks not only at his potential rival, but taking aim at hillary's husband as well. >> the husband is one of the great abusers of the world --
give me a break. give me a break. >> reporter: those attacks not stopping clinton from bringing her secret weapon to the campaign trail -- tomorrow, the former president heads to new hampshire, a place where both clintons have enjoyed political comebacks. but this time, this is sanders' backyard, where he's been leading in the polls since august. >> let's make this happen. i need your help, i need your support. >> reporter: for "this week," cecilia vega, abc news, new york. bernie sanders is hard at work on the campaign trail this holiday weekend and he joins me this morning from new hampshire. happy new year, senator sanders. i want to say, we noticed that today is the 25th anniversary of your first day in congress, 25 years, what do you say to critics who say that the country needs a president from outside
washington not a career politician? >> i'm not a career politician. martha, during my tenure in the congress, i have taken on virtually every powerful special interest, from wall street to the insurance companies, to the pharmaceutical industry, to the mill stair industrial complex, but my campaign is about is standing up to the billionaire class today and making certain that we do not continue to see the decline of the american middle class where people are working longer hours for low wages and almost all new income and wealth is going to the top 1%. decline of the middle class, massive income and wealth inequality. a corrupt campaign finance system. >> let me take you back to 1990 on election night, this is what you said, we need a mass movement of tens of millions of people prepared to say that we want national health care, that we want the millionaires and multinational corporations who are not paying their fair share to pay their fair share.
that sounds an awful lot like bernie sanders 2015, but you haven't really been able to create that mass movement, how can we imagine that you'll do it now? >> well, martha, we're doing pretty well, you know, i started this campaign at 3% of the polls, a poll had me out recently at 39%, come to my meetings, they're huge all over the united states of america and what we are seeing, mass dissatisfaction on part of the middle class. we're seeing people who are really upset they can't afford to send their kids to college, they can't afford child care. and what people are saying it's absurd. >> let me turn to iowa, senator sanders, this is what you recently said at a campaign stop. >> let me tell you a secret, don't tell anybody, i don't want to get secretary clinton nervous --
i think we're going to win here in iowa. >> i don't know how nervous secretary clinton is about that, she's consistently led in the polls in iowa through the latter part of 2015, what can you possibly do to try to stop that momentum in just four weeks? >> martha, you should have been with us in our last trips to iowa, the turnouts that we're seeing in big towns and in small towns are extraordinary, the enthusiasm is very, very strong. i think that people are tired of establishment politics and establishment economics and they are also tired of a corrupt campaign finance system and soper pacs that allows billionaires to purchase elections. and one of the manifestations of that is the kind of incredible fund-raising we have been doing in terms of small, individual donations. we have 2.5 million small individual contributions style campaign, that's more than any
other campaign in the history of the united states of america and i think that speaks to the enthusiasm and support that we're getting at the grassroots. >> hillary clinton has bill clinton joining her on the campaign trail there in new hampshire this week. washington post columnist and donald trump think bill clinton's sexual history is fair game, do you? >> no, i don't. i think we have enormous problems facing this country and i think we got more things to worry about than bill clinton's sexual life. i think -- interestingly enough, maybe donald trump might want to focus attention on climate change and understand that climate change is not a hoax as he believes that it is, that maybe donald trump should understand that we should raise the minimum wage in this country, which he opposes, and maybe we should not be giving huge tax breaks to fellow billionaires like donald trump. >> you have had some very harsh words for donald trump recently. you said you wanted to stay away from personal attacks in this
campaign. some of the things that you have said have been pretty personal. >> yes, the truth is, i don't get engaged in personal attacks. but trump is over the edge. he's called me a liar because i pointed out that nobody else has seen on television thousands of muslims celebrating the destruction of the twin towers. time after time, this guy comes up things off the top of his head that are lies. and somebody has to say that he's a pathological liar. >> senator sanders, president obama is reportedly considering executive action, requiring unlicensed gun recent dealers to get background checks. recent polling 3 in 4 americans think it's important there be bipartisan consensus before implementing gun control. issen executive action that
circumvents congress the right way to do it? >> well, i wish that we could get bipartisan action on gun safety legislation. i think the american people have been horrified by the mass shootings we have seen over the last couple of years. what i think we need to do, among many other things, is do away with the so-called gun show loophole where people don't have to go through the instant background check. martha, there is a wide consensus of american that believe we should expand and strengthen the instant background check, so that people who should not have guns, criminals or people with mental health issues should not own guns, i think that's what the president is trying to do. >> very quickly, senator sanders, on the campaign trail last week, you said that the retaking of ramadi in iraq is a model for destroying isis. and the training of iraqi forces
may have turned things around. 80% of the reason ramadi is falling is because of coalition air strikes, that's what you think should continue? >> right. i think it has to be muslim troops on the ground, who are fighting supported by u.s., uk, german, other major powers, and using our air superiority. >> thank you very much, senator sanders. next, more on that trump/clinton feud. what the other 2016 candidates gain from it. plus, bill cosby the new details on what he faces now that he's been criminally charged. that he's been criminally charged.
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don't tough it out, knock it out, fast. abreva. and we're back with the powerhouse roundtable. let's get right into donald trump's escalating attacks on bill clinton. alice, you live in little rock, arkansas, you know a lot about bill clinton, is it fair to go after him that way? >> well, here's the question -- i live across town from the clinton library, filled with volumes of his history as a great economic leader of this country but also there's part of his record which is the very reason why "the wall street journal" this week referred to him as no one in american politics betters personifies a war on women. than mrs. clinton's husband. the new hampshire leader referred to him as a serial philander. so for hillary clinton to claim she's out there for fighting for women, that takes that issue off the table.
in terms of that issue out on the campaign table she cannot discuss that. >> do you agree with that, van. bill clinton is very, very popular. gallup in may had him at 59% likability. >> the one thing that you can do to make hillary clinton more likable among independents is to attack her on this very issue. trump in the short term, he's firing up his base. hillary clinton is firing up her base. but this is going to come down to the middle and the middle when you look at it over and over again, people don't like you going after a woman because of her husband. it's going to backfire. >> that's not what the issue. the issue is, hillary clinton has said, women like bill cosby's accusers is, quote, they have the right to believe. is not what she said with her husband. it was in her court.
in the white house, she went and orchestrated this assault on these women who challenged bill clinton on this very same issue. >> can i just say, if this truly dominating the democratic race as we go into 2016, shame on us, because this is donald trump is the best manipulator of media and conversation since p.t. barnum. we do this every week, he finds something outrageous to say, somebody new to pick on -- attention is his prime directive and i don't think voters really care about this. she's going to fire up her base and he's going to fire up his. i don't think this is a big issue. >> let me move on to the next few months, "the new york times" this week looked back through old polls and it turned out that candidates who led in iowa or new hampshire with just one month to go have lost as often as they have won. so, any predictions of a shakeup, i want to start with you, matt, just look at the races and what you think we'll see in the next couple of months.
>> i would never make a prediction here. >> we'd never expect that of you. >> no, i wouldn't at this point. >> don't predict the outcome. tell us what's going to happen. >> i was there in iowa this week, i can tell you it's cold and i predict it will stay that way. this is a fluid race to me. one of the key numbers here, no matter how you divide it up, 60%-plus of the republican electorate has identified with an extreme outsider like a ted cruz, or a donald trump, or a ben carson. the governing wing of the party, even if they can congeal around a candidate, might not have the support. marco rubio still doing quite well. you know, i don't think jeb bush and john kasich are dead in new hampshire, and i think we're going to see surprise -- >> that's interesting. >> and you're talking ted cruz. >> you encouraged me.
the winner -- i think ted cruz does win iowa. there's a chance donald trump slightly underperforms because he's doing worst in early states than he's nationally. as you get closer to picking a real president, yeah, maybe he's not the guy you want in the big chair. so, he underperforms. we go to new hampshire, what happens there? new hampshire looks to validate an alternative, who is that? well, right now, it's probably trump again. but that's the opening for an establishment candidate. i think rubio is capped by christie, what does that mean? christie's got a lane, if christie can gel in new hampshire, that could be the three-way race. >> rubio had a lot of media energy this week, emerging as the establishment candidate to beat. but some reality checks to, david axelrod tweeting, where does he win? so --
>> the key is, iowa is so important, but as you said, at least two cycles, the winner of iowa did not go on to win the nomination. the key is, having a strong organization and ground game in iowa, but executing the same plan in new hampshire, south carolina, nevada, through the early states and racking up that magic 1237 delegates needed in order to become the nominee. and i see that happening with the candidate who has strong ground game in iowa, new hampshire, all through the s.e.c. states, and showing that they're able to be in this for the long haul, which means organization on the ground and the money to maintain as well an air campaign. >> let's hit the democrats. bernie sanders, martin o'malley. >> you talked about the person we always talk about, donald trump. let's talk about the person we never talk about but we just heard from, bernie sanders has incredible momentum.
an almost media blackout. he's almost never the subject of the main conversation, but out in the country, you see a lot of bernie sanders support, he got more contributions, individual donors, than any other in america history. i think he's going to win iowa, he may win new hampshire -- >> this man is not afraid to make -- >> listen, i love hillary clinton, she'll be our nominee. but there is something happening in our party. the authenticity of bernie sanders and the popularity of his agenda. >> okay, we'll have a bit more with you later. but next, new details in a major win against isis overseas. we break it all down from baghdad. stay with us. as. we break it all down from baghdad. stay with us.
this week, that big win against isis as we mentioned. iraqi forces raising their national flag after recapturing ramadi. a recent stronghold for the terror organization. but right now, isis is launching counterattacks on the outskirts of the recaptured town and the question this morning is, can the iraqis hang on? "wall street journal" reporter matt bradley is in baghdad and that is the question, matt, can they hang on? >> well, that's a good question whether or not they can hang on. but right now the question is, whether or not they can complete the fighting in ramadi?
it's only about 80% retaken from islamic state. all weekend there has been counterattacks. we'll know in a couple of days. >> and clearly, this is something they want to do before trying to take back mosul, which has been in the hands of isis for well over a year. >> that's right. the ramadi experiment was something of a test, it showed that the iraqi military was able to take ramadi, so, it wasn't just taking ramadi, ramadi fell exactly the way they wanted it to fall. mosul is about five times the size of ramadi. so, it's going to be a much, much harder fight. >> and of course the u.s. involved in air strikes before, about 80% of how they've gotten this far is because of the u.s. air strikes. >> that's right, this has been an extraordinary form of war, this is a battle that's been fought almost entirely from the air. and the iraqi military and
the iraqi counterterrorism forces said they have had almost no casualties. which means all of the heavy lifting was done by alliance aircraft. >> thanks very much, matt. here with me is joby warrick, the author of black flags: the rise of isis. named one of the top ten books of 2015 in so many newspapers. we're still watching whether they have completed the takeover of ramadi, but if they do that, it's not only a substantive win it would be symbolic also. >> yes. it's a huge milestone. this is the first time iraqi troops are alone on the ground even though they have u.s. help. it's also a big loss for isis, because this is the capital of the anbar province. it's an important some bollic loss for isis if they have to turn away. >> if they are in a weakened state, if the iraqis and the americans manage to take ramadi, can they be more dangerous?
>> absolutely, because we see the counterattack going on just as part of that, how desperate they are with suicide bombings, using human civilians as shields. i.e.d.s all over the place. we see the danger right there in iraq. but also around the world. they're calling out for help on social media. we saw baghdadi, the isis commander, just a few weeks ago, just calling for help, saying we really need professionals, we need soldiers. we need money, we also need inspirational attacks around the world, places like the united states and the west. >> i hate to have you reduce your book to about a minute here, but tell us the roots of isis, the thing that's so fascinating about your book. how isis really started. >> the central idea is what we're seeing playing out in the middle east right now, the idea of a caliphate. the guy who founded it wasn't a theologian or a very smart man. he had this idea of creating
this caliphate and having this be a draw for muslims around the world, something for them to come to and fight for. we think of the atrocities and beheadings and destructions of antiquities. for many muslims on his side, the powerful idea is building this caliphate, that's what he's doing right now. >> you talked about recruiting and i think that's what people in the homeland worry about, they see the inspiration. they saw san bernardino and they saw paris, how do you stop that? the military campaign is one thing, but the recruiting, the inspiration? >> eventually, isis could be driven out of his heartland. it could lose raqqah, its capital in syria. but you can't get rid of that idea, the tactics are widespread. you take over territory by chaos. by destruction, by horrific violence, and this is something that we see in all of these little cells that have popped up in the west. it's still a very big problem for us. >> and everybody said it's a generational fight, you would agree with that?
>> absolutely, because it's hard to eradicate that idea. you can over time. >> social media campaign seems so far ahead of anything we're doing. >> they're so good from raqqah. and their little cells around the world. >> thanks so much for joining us this morning, joby. and coming up -- bill cosby breaks his silence after this
this holiday weekend, after dozens and dozens of women came forward in 2015 to accuse bill cosby of sexual misconduct the comedy legend was criminally charged just before the new year. he now faces up to ten years in prison if convicted. but his lawyer insists in a statement to abc news that cosby is innocent. and bill cosby himself tweeted out this simple message to his supporters, friends and fans, thank you. i'm joined now by abc news legal analyst dan abrams. and dan, there have been those accusers over the years, why this case, why now? >> well, i think that there are two things that have changed in this particular case. number one is all of these other accusers and number two is, bill cosby's own statement. remember, he testified in a civil deposition, meaning he was asked questions under oath about this very case.
that was held under seal, meaning no one could see it. and then it gets released and for the first time the authorities see it, the authorities get to hear what bill cosby said about this very case and they're now able to use that against him, i think that's the key reason. and number two is, because they have these potential other accusers that they're hoping will be able to testify against him. >> but dan, this is still a very old case and i would imagine a very difficult one to prove. >> it is going to be difficult. it's going to be difficult primarily for three reasons. first of all, it was never an easy case which is why the authorities back then, 10, 12 years ago, didn't decide to prosecute. number two, the fact that time has passed is going to make it an even tougher case in that regard. memories fade. and so questions will be asked about her account. and then, of course there's the
criminal law standard of proving it beyond a reasonable doubt. and i think that's going to be critical here. because, unlike in a civil case, where the question is, is it more like likely than not? here the prosecution has an enormous burden. when you're talking about a tough, old case, that burden becomes a big issue. >> how hard will it be to get a jury? bill cosby has 4.1 million twitter followers. he's a celebrity. everyone knows who bill cosby is, so, how do they get a jury? >> it's going to take longer and some of the jurors are going to know something about the case. but the key is that the jurors haven't developed an opinion about guilt or innocence. in this case or about bill cosby broadly. i tell you, i remember watching the o.j. simpson civil case, after the criminal case had been tried the world had watched it, suddenly you're in santa monica trying to find a jury in the civil case
who haven't developed opinions about o.j. simpson, and i have to say there were a lot of people out there who just hadn't watched the case that closely. here, it's going to take a long time. you'll have to get a lot of prospective jurors. >> thanks very much for joining us this morning, dan, and happy new year. let me bring back the powerhouse roundtable and get their insights on bill cosby and on tamir rice. and the other big stories that have us all riveted this morning. i want to go to you, alice, and your thoughts on the cosby arrest. more than 50 public accusers going back more than ten years, why ignored so long? >> i think a lot of them were shamed into silence, they were told they shouldn't come forward. they were told that no one would believe them. several of them have said, i tried to explain to mying at and my friend. they said no one will believe you, bill cosby is a legend and they love him.
his supporters saying it's shameful that this is being tried out in the media. his attorney needs to get off the television. if she's worried about this being tried in the media, she needs to stop doing it. this will all come out in a court of law and his guilt and innocence will be determined at that time. >> and van, i want to turn to tamir rice, the 12-year-old who was shot by a police officer, a grand jury in cleveland this week failed to indict the officers. you have called this preposterous on its face. >> yes, well, first of all, you had the prosecutor acting like a defense attorney in front of that grand jury, you had a prosecutor spending money to bring in experts to exonerate the police officer, that's highly unusual. also, let's not forget, this is an open-carry state. you have the right to have a weapon on you in open public.
the challenge we have here now is, once again, it looks like if you're a young person of color in america you're guilty until proven innocent. it looks like i know how many people get the book thrown at them if you're a normal civilian. the prosecutor throws the book at you and you tell a judge and a jury why you're innocent. here it was the opposite. don't forget, they shot him, they arrested his sister for trying to save his life. nothing happened criminally. it's wrong. >> the prosecutor said it was a perfect storm of human errors and mistakes. >> over and over again. >> but no criminal conduct by police. i want to move on and i want us to reflect as a moment as we begin this new year. tell me, alex, i'll start with you, what you learned about the country in the last year and what it means going forward? >> i have learned this country is afraid and that this is the end of royalty, the end of monarchial government. this is the let them eat cake election.
for decades now, americans have been promised that if we send enough money and power to washington, they're going to fix everything. and america has had its heart broken. and it's scared to death, because nothing works. everything seems to be falling apart. they do scary things and we see bernie sanders, you know the populous movement on the left, trump and cruz on the right. the pheasants are revolting this election. >> matt, i have very few seconds here. tell me what you learned culturally? >> i think this has to do with the culture, why is police brutality and police violence so much more in the news because there are more incidents of it? no, people are carrying around cell phones and taking videos and showing the word what's going on. that's one of the key ways this year in technology bringing
about a real transformation in society in what we find tolerable. >> we'll have to leave it there. we'll reflect the rest of the year as well. but, straight ahead in this new year, the u.s. marine veteran who's taking inspiration and perseverance to a whole new level. in today's "sunday spotlight," if you're looking for some inspiration in this new year, something to help you stick to those resolutions, look no further than u.s. marine tim donnelly and those who offered him a second chance at doing what he loves -- performing. ♪ you may say i'm a dreamer
>> for tim donnelly, every new year, every new day -- ♪ i'm not the only one >> reporter: -- is one he never thought he would see. four years ago, just days after his 20th birthday, the young marine was on his first deployment to afghanistan. >> we were doing a dismounted patrol through the village -- and the i.e.d. was buried in the wall right next to me. >> a bomb that would take both legs and seriously damage his right arm. for a gifted singer who loved to play the guitar, the injuries were almost too much to bear. >> 2 1/2, 3 months after i got hurt, i couldn't even listen to music at all. it just -- it was too hard. >> it would take a very special team to help tim find himself, his voice again. ♪ ♪
>> the musicorps band of wounded warriors. musicorps is the brainchild of this man. >> i was invited to walter reed to meet a soldier who was injured in iraq. he used to play drums, he was blown up by a roadside bomb and he lost his leg and he was concerned, how am i going to play the drums again without my legs? >> as the program grew, it gave the attention to some true rock stars, like roger waters formerly of pink floyd. >> i treat them like musicians, not wounded guys. they worked and world, these guys, and that's why they're so good. >> good is an understatement. they're magnificent. ♪ ♪
>> tim, waters and the band bringing the house down at a stand up for heroes concert just nine months after tim's devastating injury. ♪ ♪ >> one of the things about tim is that, you see his injuries are so severe but they are irrelevant when he's singing. >> since then, the band has played sold out concert halls as musicorps hope to help more of the wounded. >> we work with about 50 a year and walter reed is still filled with very injured patients. >> for tim, happiness now reaches far beyond the stage. six months ago, balancing on prosthetic limbs he married kelly fiddler at a seaside wedding. >> i'm enjoying being married. it's great. when people let me know that i helped them understand a little
bit more about all these guys and what they go through it doesn't get any better than that. ♪ ♪ and now, we honor our fellow americans who serve and sacrifice. in the month of december, a suicide bomber took the lives of six of our service members in afghanistan. that's all for us today. thanks for sharing part of your sunday with us. check out "world news tonight" and we'll see you back here next week. have a great day.
about an out of control boat to crashes into a rocky north bay shoreline. the efforts to safely remove it. >> good morning. from our exploratorium camera, check it out. isn't that gorgeous? dry in san francisco, 48 degrees. it's been raining lightly in the north bay and the rain will overtake the bay area today. this is the first in a series of wet weather systems that will bring a soggy week. choose, choose, choose. but at bedtime? ...why settle for this? enter sleep number, and the lowest prices of the season, sleepiq technology tells you how well you slept and what adjustments you can make. you like the bed soft. he's more hardcore. so your sleep goes from good to great to wow! only at a sleep number store, find the lowest prices of the season.