(CBS News) -- Below is a transcript from the March 29, 2015 edition of Face the Nation. Guests included Sen. Richard Burr, Rep. Adam Shiff, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Capt. Sully Sullenberger, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Chris Dodd, Sen. Olympia Snowe, Manu Raju, Nancy Cordes, Dan Balz and Scott Conroy.
BOB SCHIEFFER, HOST: I'm Bob Schieffer.
And today on FACE THE NATION: the Middle East on fire, and whose side we're on depends on which battle you're talking about. Plus, the key question following that European plane crash that took 150 lives: Could it happen here? We will get latest on that from the hero of the Miracle on the Hudson, Captain Sully Sullenberger.
On the Middle East, we will turn to Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, and Saudi Arabian Ambassador Adel Al- Jubeir, as we try to untangle the increasingly dangerous situation there.
Then we will have new CBS News poll on the coming presidential race. We will talk to former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who is one of the early leaders.
Plus, a preview of the new Edward Kennedy Institute and a talk with some of his former colleagues from both sides of the aisle.
This is FACE THE NATION.
And good morning.
Rescue efforts continue at the plane crash site in the French Alps. We know now that the co-pilot who apparently crashed the plane on purpose into a mountain was being treated for some kind of illness that should have prevented him from being in the cockpit that day.
To talk about this story, we're joined by former U.S. air captain and CBS News aviation and safety expert Sully Sullenberger, who joins us this morning from San Francisco.
CAPT. CHESLEY "SULLY" SULLENBERGER, CBS NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: And, Captain, all news is local. And I think the question most on the minds of most -- many Americans this morning is simply this. Could this have happened here on a U.S. carrier?
SULLENBERGER: Well, Bob, we must do everything we can to prevent it from happening here.
But there is one reason that this particular pilot could not have been an airline pilot in the U.S. currently. And that is that rules now require that airline pilots have at least 1,500 hours and an airline transport pilot license. That's about two or two-and-a-half times as much total flying experience as this one particular pilot had.
SCHIEFFER: Well, are there safeguards in place? I know this is a rare thing for someone to commit suicide in the cockpit of an airplane, as happened, but it has happened before. Are there safeguards in place, and what are they exactly?
SULLENBERGER: Well, we here in the U.S. have had two wonderful advantages for many decades.
First, since after World War II, until just recently, about 75 percent of all airline pilots in this country have been military- trained aviators. Of course, that means that they have been through a rigorous, very structured and disciplined screening process to become military pilots. And then they have been screened a second time to be hired as airline pilots.
It's an important selection process. It means that anybody who is doing this job is well-suited by training and by temperament. And for those who were not military pilots, the training and hiring standards have been high enough that most civilian pilots have had multiple professional flying jobs and been screened by multiple employers prior to being hired by a major airline.
SCHIEFFER: Well, well, could a pilot conceal that he was suffering from depression if he chose to? Do they have to volunteer that information or do they undergo examinations or what happens?
SULLENBERGER: Pilots do undergo examinations.
In fact, professional pilots are the most scrutinized professional group that exist. In the United States, pilots have to undergo an FAA medical examination every year if they're under 40 and every six months if they're older than 40. And we have to disclose every medical condition that might affect our fitness to fly. Not to do so makes us subject to severe penalties.
We're also required to list every single doctor visit, specifically who we saw and for what purpose, at the time of every medical examination. There may some hiding going on, but it's been made somewhat better by a more enlightened approach that the FAA recently took in terms of mental health in 2010, by allowing pilots to be recertified to fly while still taking certain kinds of medication to improve their mood.
SCHIEFFER: Captain, what are the safest airlines? Are you better off flying U.S. carriers and -- than you are flying some of these other carriers operating around the world?
SULLENBERGER: There is variation in the safety rates of airlines around the world. The safest historically have been North America, Australia, New Zealand, parts of Europe, the Middle Eastern carriers that -- are ascendant have been very safe.
Unfortunately, while we do have agreed-upon international standards, they have become essentially recommendations because, in order for them to be implemented, each country must mandate that its airlines and those who use its airspace adhere to these standards. So, there is variation.
As we have seen this week, it was primarily U.S. carriers that had the two person in the cockpit rule. Many other carriers in the world did not until just recently.
SCHIEFFER: All right, well, Captain, thank you very much for being so candid with us this morning. And we appreciate you coming. Thank you.
Turning now to the other big story, as "The Washington Post" has put it, not since the 1960s have so many states in the Middle East been engaged in so many wars.
Here is how complicated it's become. We are trying to negotiate a deal with Iran to curb their nuclear program. In Iraq, we are aligned with Iranian-backed militia fighting ISIS. In Yemen, we are aligned with Saudi Arabia against Iranian-backed rebels who are trying to topple the government there.
And we're joined now in the studio by Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, Adel Al-Jubeir.
Mr. Ambassador, thank you so much for joining us.
ADEL AL-JUBEIR, SAUDI ARABIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: Thank you. Glad to be here.
SCHIEFFER: This has become so complicated. It's like the old, you don't know the players without the scorecard here. It is extremely complicated.
Now, your king is saying that the Saudi airstrikes which began in Yemen last week are going to continue until Saudi Arabia reaches its goals there. What are the goals?
AL-JUBEIR: The objective is to protect the people of Yemen from a radical organization that has allied with Iran and Hezbollah, that has virtually taken over the country.
It's to defend the legitimate government of Yemen. And it's to open up the way for political talks, so that Yemen can move -- complete its transition period and move towards a better place.
SCHIEFFER: Is this what this really is, Mr. Ambassador, is a proxy war, Saudi Arabia on one side and the Iranians on the other? Because they are backing these rebel groups in Yemen right now.
AL-JUBEIR: That's correct.
But I wouldn't describe it as a proxy war. I would describe it as a war of necessity. We had no choice. We tried every possible way to avoid it. The Yemenis tried every possible way to avoid it. Agreements were made. And every single agreement that was made with the Houthis, 67 of them, to be precise, the Houthis reneged on.
And so they continued to take over the country. And when they were virtually about to take over the city of Aden with its president, we had to step in, in order to -- in response to the request by the legitimate government to do so under Article 51 of...
SCHIEFFER: How much did Iran have to do with the Houthis?
AL-JUBEIR: A lot. The Houthis are ideologically affiliated with Iran. The Iranians have provided them with weapons. The Iranians have provided them with advisers and the Iranians have provided them with money.
SCHIEFFER: Are you -- the Arab League has now said they're going to come together and form a coalition here. What is this, some sort of rapid-response force that you're talking about? And would you expect ground troops in Yemen?
AL-JUBEIR: I think these are two separate issues.
The use of force in Yemen is to defend the legitimate government and protect the people of Yemen. We have a coalition of over 10 countries that are participating in those operations. We are determined to continue the operations until the objective is achieved. This is one part.
The Arab League agreed to the creation of a force that would be similar to rapid deployment force. The purpose of this force would be to go after extremists, go after terrorists, to support countries that may not have ability to do the job on their own. And this is an idea that has been discussed for some time now. And the Arab leaders at the summit in Sharm el-Sheikh agreed to begin to establish such a force.
SCHIEFFER: Well, do you see such a force going into Yemen?
AL-JUBEIR: I don't know that anyone wants to go into Yemen in terms of land forces, but we don't rule anything out.
We have sufficient forces in the current coalition, if need be, to go into Yemen. But, right now, the objective is being achieved through an air campaign.
SCHIEFFER: All this playing out while the negotiations to try to curb Iran's nuclear program are under way. Does Saudi Arabia want a deal?
AL-JUBEIR: I believe everybody wants a deal, but everybody wants a good deal.
We have been assured by the United States, by Secretary Kerry when he met with the foreign ministers of the GCC, that the deal that they intend to negotiate would prevent Iran from acquiring an atomic bomb. It would close all paths leading to an atomic bomb. It will limit substantially Iran's ability to do research and enrich. And it will impose intrusive and continuous inspections on Iran in the future. Now, we hope this is -- this will be the case. But we really will not know until we see the details. And I don't believe the details have been worked out yet. We expect that there will be a general framework agreement announced with the details to be negotiated over next two or three months. And so the key will be, what will be in those details?
SCHIEFFER: Mr. Ambassador, thank you so much for giving us your perspective this morning.
AL-JUBEIR: Thank you.
SCHIEFFER: We turn to the Senate Intelligence Committee chair, Republican Richard Burr. He joins us now from Greensboro, North Carolina.
Senator, let me just start where the ambassador left off. He said, everybody wants a deal, but what they want is a good deal. From what you are able to tell about those negotiations so far, is this a good deal that is shaping up?
SEN. RICHARD BURR (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Well, Bob, we have just got bits and pieces that have come from the administration or through other sources that are familiar with the negotiations.
And it doesn't seem to be headed in the right direction. And, clearly, with a deadline of Tuesday, I'm concerned with what we might give away. The Iranians don't seem to want to conclude this. But I think, more importantly, right now, when we see ISIL in 12 different countries around the world, we see Iran playing in about nine countries financially or physically, I think now is the time to push back from the table and ask ourselves, is it really time to trust the people that we're negotiating with, the Iranians?
So, I would encourage the administration, let's take more time. Let's not hasten to a deal. And I fear that Secretary Kerry believes that he's got to get a deal by Tuesday.
SCHIEFFER: So, what you're saying is, you would be one of those who would favor postponing the deadline here and keep working?
BURR: Well, listen, I think that's better than a bad deal. And I have got a really bad feeling about what they might come with.
But I think, Bob, I suggest you look at the realities around the world. And you just explained it really well. In one place, we're partnering. In another place, we're actually partnering with the people that are fighting against Iranian-backed folks. This week -- last week, we saw the Iraqis call on the U.S. for airstrikes in Tikrit, and we saw the Shia militia boycott the fact that America was involved, and even some conversation about taking the opportunity to either down aircraft or to kill Americans.
These are the same people we're sitting at a table with saying we're going to trust them not to have nuclear proliferation. And in fact this is one of the most chaotic times in the history of the world, I think, not only in the Middle East, but in North Africa, West Africa, Central Asia. And it seems like Iran is there stoking the fire just about in all cases.
SCHIEFFER: Well, I know you have been briefed, as the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee. What is your sense of what is happening in Yemen right now?
BURR: Well, clearly, we're on the verge of a civil war. And I think that we have seen, as the ambassador just said, who has been a tremendous representative from Saudi -- I had a long conversation with the ambassador last week -- 10 countries have come together, primarily because they can't allow Iran to take a foothold in Yemen.
We call them Houthis, but this is Iran. They have financed them. They have consulted them. They have sent weapons. And the fact is that the Gulf states, this coalition will not stand by and see that presence seeded there. But they're a little bit bewildered as to how we can really consult with the Iranians in Iraq, especially the way they treat U.S. forces there.
SCHIEFFER: Should we have done something that we didn't do? Could we have maybe made this situation better than it's turned out to be, or not?
BURR: Well, Bob, it would have started a long time ago by not removing every U.S. boot from the ground in Iraq and making sure that we could have a stable security force there.
It's estimated that there are 30,000 either Iraqi and Shia militia that are on the assault for Tikrit. Yet there are only 400 ISIL members holding that entire army off in Tikrit right now. And they required U.S. airstrikes to soften them up some.
I think the reality is that, in our absence, terrorism has flourished throughout the region between Syria and Iraq and has spread now to countries in North Africa and Central Asia.
SCHIEFFER: Senator, thank you so much for joining me this morning bringing us that perspective.
We're going now to turn to Congressman Adam Schiff. He's in the studio with us, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
You have just heard all the speakers who have come before you here. Congressman, what is your take on where we are right now?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: We're in a very dangerous place, certainly in Yemen. And I think there is a real prospect of civil war here. It is probably unlikely that these airstrikes alone are going to be sufficient to repel the Houthis.
The best hope is that it prompts them to go back to the negotiating table. But if the Houthis start launching Scud missiles into Saudi Arabia or in Kerr (ph) across the border, then I think you are going to see a ground war, and there's no telling where that ends up. SCHIEFFER: Congressman, let me ask you. Let's say there's somebody sitting out there watching this broadcast this morning and saying, yes, this is all bad, but how does that impact on me here in the United States of America?
What do you tell them when they ask that question?
SCHIFF: Well, I would say a couple things.
In Yemen, we ought to be concerned what happens there, because in the chaos that is going on right now, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, AQAP, which is probably the most lethal franchise of al Qaeda, has a chance to resurge and grow. And that poses a real threat to us. We were talking about aircraft earlier on the program this morning. Well, they have been building these bombs that can get past our metal detectors and have made repeated attempts to blow up our aircraft.
So, giving them any opportunity to grow is very important to stop, which means we have a very acute interest in Yemen. We also see in places like Tikrit, where a lot of these conflicting forces are coming together. We have a couple competing objectives. In Iraq, we want to make sure that we defeat ISIS, because, again, they pose a threat to our homeland.
But, at the same time, we don't want to see Iranian hegemony increased by making Iraq some kind of a vassal state of Tehran. And those goals are somewhat in conflict. They're complementary in part, because we're both fighting to defeat ISIS. At the same time, this heavy reliance on these Iranian-backed Shia militias is very concerning to us.
SCHIEFFER: How does this impact on these negotiations with Iran on trying to get some kind of deal to curb their nuclear weapons? You heard the reservations that Senator Burr just expressed.
Are you for a deal?
SCHIFF: Well, I'm for a good deal, if we can get one. And I think it's still unclear what that final deal is going to look like.
And I would be in favor of a good deal because the alternative is, we passed new sanctions, which I would support. We hope to keep the Europeans together if we're lucky. And we wait for that additional economic pressure to bring Iran back to the table and get a better deal. The problem is, that may take years. And they may get to Israel's red line or our own before that time comes. So, the alternative is also dangerous. But I'm trying to keep my powder dry.
SCHIEFFER: Should we extend the deadline for these talks? Senator Burr said he would be willing to go along with that.
SCHIFF: Well, I was very interested that Senator Burr said that, because there's been a lot of GOP pressure on finding out what we have by the end of this month or applying new sanctions. As the French have pointed out, clinging to this deadline really puts us at disadvantage, if it appears we need to reach a deal by then more than the Iranians do. So, I would be in favor of taking the time we need to see if we can get a good deal by the end of June.
One other point, Bob. You asked about the interrelation between these issues. And I do think it's vitally important that we have the Saudis back in what they're doing in Yemen right now, because that may give the Saudis some comfort that, even if we do reach an agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, that doesn't mean that we're not going to be willing to confront Iran as it tries to expand it quite nefarious influence throughout the region.
SCHIEFFER: Congressman, thank you so much for being with us this morning.
SCHIFF: Thanks, Bob.
SCHIEFFER: We will be back to talk a little politics in one minute.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SCHIEFFER: Now to politics.
The new CBS News poll on the 2016 presidential race is out. It suggests the Republican race is wide-open. No surprise on this one. Hillary Clinton is the favorite of most Democrats. What is surprising, 66 percent would like her to face strong competition in the primaries. Who that would be is unclear.
On the Republican side, when we ask who would you consider voting for, Jeb Bush topped the leaderboard at 51 percent. But Mike Huckabee is next, followed by Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, and Rick Perry. Finishing out the field, Rick Santorum, Chris Christie, Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal, and Lindsey Graham.
And Governor Huckabee joins us now from Destin, Florida.
Let me just ask the obvious question, Governor. Are you going to run?
MIKE HUCKABEE (R), FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: Well, Bob, a decision hasn't been made. I have been saying it's going to be this spring. We're barely into it. It's still snowing in Boston. So, give me a few more weeks. But I will make an announcement relatively soon.
SCHIEFFER: It's clear that Ted Cruz is going after what you consider your base, and that is conservative Christians. Tell me why you can represent them better than he can.
HUCKABEE: Well, my base is really beyond just evangelicals. I think a lot of people perceive that. And certainly they're an important part of the base that I enjoyed back in 2008. But I think the untold secret is that a lot of the support that I had and that I anticipate that I will have is from the working-class blue-collar people who grew up a lot like I did, not blue blood, but blue-collar. And there's a real sense in the Republican Party that there's no one speaking not only to them, but speaking for them.
And if someone can capture both the blue-collar working-class Republicans, the conservatives, many of them even union members, as well as evangelicals, there's real pathway to the nomination.
SCHIEFFER: What do you see as the main challenge for the next person who becomes president?
HUCKABEE: I think it's got to restore hope in America again, bring this country back where we believe we're going to be able to be at our best.
People are discouraged. I meet people every day whose economy is not recovering, Bob. They're not feeling the sense of recovery that people in Washington are boasting about. Their economy is not recovering, the folks out there working hard.
And I believe that if we don't once again give people a sense of hope and optimism, first about their own economic situation, and then about the world that is on fire, it's going to be hard to get America back on track. And I believe most Americans -- and the polls reflect this -- believe that we're on the wrong track right now.
SCHIEFFER: You got good reviews when you were governor of Arkansas for the most part. But do you consider yourself qualified to handle foreign policy? You have just heard what we have been talking abut this morning. I can't remember when the world was more tangled up than it is right now.
What can you bring to that? And what will you tell people when they ask you that question?
HUCKABEE: Well, a lot of people don't know my first trip to the Middle East was in 1973, 42 years ago, when I was all of 17. I have been to the Middle East several dozen times.
Just got back from Israel last month, was there three times just last year. I have been to virtually every country that we talk about, whether it's Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Saudi -- Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Kuwait, Turkey, Pakistan, India. This is a part of the world with which I am familiar firsthand.
And as a governor, I also met with many world leaders, as well as CEOs of multinational corporations. And, frankly, most governors do. I think it's sometimes perceived that governors don't have much of a world view. I would tend to take issue that that is not always the case.
SCHIEFFER: Do you think this is going to be a contest to determine who is the most conservative Republican candidate or who is the most electable Republican candidate? HUCKABEE: I know that there is going to be a big brouhaha over who is the most conservative. But if you look at all the Republicans who are thinking about running, there really isn't an outright liberal in the whole bunch.
There may be degrees of more conservative on one policy or another. But I think that compared to the current administration, all of us are conservative. But I'm convinced, Bob, that the average American voter, at least the ones that are going to decide the election, they don't think horizontally. It's not for them left, right, liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican.
I'm convinced that a lot of Americans are asking the question about the vertical perspective. Who is going to take us up and who is going to take us down? And they are a heck of a lot more concerned about somebody getting this country, this economy, and our world in upward direction than just to say that horizontally we have moved further to the right or we have moved further to the left.
SCHIEFFER: All right, well, Governor, we're going to stop right there. I hope to see you again. I hope you will call us when you tell us you're ready to announce. We will put you right here on FACE THE NATION.
HUCKABEE: I will let you know, Bob. Thanks.
And we will be right back.
SCHIEFFER: And we will be right back.
SCHIEFFER: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. The president and vice president will be among those from Washington in Boston tomorrow for the opening of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, which includes, among other things, a life-size recreation of the U.S. Senate chamber where the late senator served for 47 years.
It's all there, from the Senate well and the senators' desk to the visitors' gallery. His widow, Vicky, was a driving force behind the museum.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VICKI KENNEDY, WIDOW OF TED KENNEDY: Ted Kennedy was certainly a joyous Democrat. He loved his party. He was a man of strong beliefs. But he always listened to the other side and looked for that negative common ground that could move an issue forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIEFFER: In the historic Senate hearing room where he crafted so much of the legislation that became law, we gathered four of his long-time colleagues: Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski. Former Democratic Senator Chris Dodd, Former Republican Senator Olympia Snowe and Republican Senator John McCain.
And we asked them how he managed to do it.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZ.: He dedicated his life to the institution and thereby being able become one of the most effective members of the United States Senate and I might add probably the greatest antagonist I ever had on the floor of the Senate.
SCHIEFFER: And yet you were friends.
MCCAIN: Oh, we had some of the great bouts, and yet I remember one time we had a huge fight that two freshmen had begun and we drove them from the floor and afterwards we were walking off the floor and he put his arm around me.
And he said, "We really did a good one that time, didn't we, John?"
He enjoyed the combat but he didn't personalize the combat. And that is really one of the reasons why I think so many, on both sides of the aisle, had not just respect but after a while, affection.
OLYMPIA SNOWE, FORMER REPUBLICAN SENATOR: He was a legislator's legislator. And he used his consummate skills as a negotiator. He appreciated the norms and traditions of the Senate and also got to know his colleagues, their preferences and their dislikes and understood that your adversary today would be your ally tomorrow.
SCHIEFFER: He was one of your closest personal friends, Senator Dodd.
What do you think it was about him?
CHRIS DODD, FORMER DEMOCRATIC SENATOR: Teddy once said that the Senate changes a person, that it has ability of making a person a heightened sense of responsibility. That is something a lot of people don't understand. This is the most unique institution in public life in many ways because of the rules of the place.
Mandates that you actually work with each other. In fact, the minority is given a status here unlike any other place in the country. And Teddy, the effect of the Senate really had an effect on him. In this very room, where we're gathered here today, I watched him day in and day out make it possible for people he disagreed with to have victories.
SEN. BARBARA MIKULSKI (D), MD.: I think the boundless energy, the fact that he was more than willing to let other people take the credit, even though he was the big guy in the room. A very savvy and strategic legislator. And he also made things fun. He made you feel welcome. He made you feel like you mattered and you counted. I was with him when he met world leaders in these beautiful committee rooms, I was with him at the North End in Boston, walking the streets of their little getaway, where he made the waiters and the kitchen staff and the people making the meatballs as important as the people making policy.
MCCAIN: Could I say, Ted always kept his word. The only times I saw him angry was when somebody didn't keep their word to him.
All senators have a hideaway and the more senior you get, the nicer it is. And he had kind of an interesting custom that, if it was a new senator who had never visited there before, he would take them on a little tour of the hideaway, where there was various pictures of his brothers, of his family, of the life -- of the entire Kennedy family.
And I never saw anybody that didn't come away sort of impressed and, more than that, of greater appreciation for Ted devotion to his family.
SCHIEFFER: That's very interesting where you say he was someone who kept his word.
MCCAIN: He kept his word. And sometimes that was hard for him to do.
SNOWE: Chris mentioned about this hearing room, reminded me of an initiative that I worked with Ted on which was the genetic nondiscrimination. We coauthored the bill in the Senate. And it was reported out of this committee, he chaired the committee because the Democrats were in the majority at that time.
And he reported it out as the Snowe-Kennedy rather than Kennedy- Snowe because the chair customarily signs his or her name as first. I wasn't even a member of the committee. And I give this as an example because imagine how frankly in today's legislative environment to have such a magnanimous gesture and that kind of deference.
DODD: Used to, he'd have a dinner at the beginning of each Congress at his home. No staff, no family, just members. And he'd go around the room and ask everybody what they would like to do, what they would like to achieve in that Congress. And I know the leadership used to try to send the meanest junkyard dog they could over to be the ranking Republican to him, because he was just too productive, to slow him down, stop this legislating all the time.
It's awfully difficult to say no to a guy who turns to you and says, tell me what you'd like to do and let me help you do it.
DODD: And invariably, friends up here would turn around and Olympia's giving you a good example of it, would say, how can I be mad at this guy? He's going to help me do something I'd like to do in the different party. And it was of course magical and it was fun to work with him. MIKULSKI: Well, that picks up on a women's health agenda for which Senator Kennedy was very supportive.
When I came to the Senate I was the only Democratic woman. Senator Kasabian (ph) was the only Republican woman. And Senator Snowe and I had worked in the House along with some others when the fact women had not been included in the protocols at NIH. We were systematically excluded. They said our hormones kind of messed up the research, whatever that meant.
MIKULSKI: Senator Kennedy --
SCHIEFFER: Well, what did that mean?
MIKULSKI: Well, I think we need a whole show on that, Bob.
MIKULSKI: But Senator Snowe, working with others in the House, Pat Schroeder, Connie Morella, me, Nancy, we were moving an agenda and we realized there was no office of -- we got women in the protocols, no Office of Women's Health. He worked with me, reached out to me, reached out to Olympia and the gang in the House, we moved it.
MCCAIN: Let me -- this career of Ted Kennedy can't be complete without his passion. Bob Dole once said that Ted Kennedy was the only senator he ever knew who could eviscerate you on the floor of the Senate then come into the cloak room and convince you that he wasn't talking about you.
But I'm telling you, it was fun to do battle with him. But it was a daunting experience. And have no doubt about the fact that he was a partisan, liberal Democrat of the old school.
But at the same time, as we've described, he was willing to work with the other side and come to agreements. But some of the most ferocious debates I've ever had and will ever have, were with Ted Kennedy.
MCCAIN: Did you ever get mad at him out there on the floor?
MCCAIN: We got mad at each other. But then when you walk off the floor with him, all that goes away because they were legitimate beliefs that each of us had. And the passion I think is not only appropriate but admirable.
SCHIEFFER: But it's not that way any more?
DODD: Well, no, it is at some -- but John says something important. To take it a step further, having spent a lot of time with Teddy on a personal level, I could be in the middle of the ocean sailing with him, not another human being within miles. And you would think he was on the floor of the Senate. He would get as wound up about a subject matter. And I'd say, "Calm down, it's just the two of us here."
You're talking to the fish out here.
But he'd be banging his fist on something, talking about healthcare or women's health whatever else it was, and he just felt passionately about it. I mean, it was real. This wasn't just a staged event for the floor of the Senate.
MCCAIN: It was passionate but it was not mean.
MCCAIN: And that's what I think the difference is today.
SCHIEFFER: I think there's a lot of meanness in Washington.
MCCAIN: Insulting but not mean.
MIKULSKI: I think it goes to -- all of us here are pretty vocal and outspoken and can hit high-decibel levels. But it was situational. It was in the passion of the moment, arguing, the clash of debate of ideas. I feel that one of the ways -- and Ted Kennedy organized the way he did with the dinners and the meetings and drinks -- was more friendship led to less partisanship because you knew each other, always trying to find where can we be friends?
Sure, we're going to fight and we're going to differ but when the day is over, the day has got to be over, and begin new day and then you find a new way.
SCHIEFFER: Will we ever see his like again?
DODD: Yes. If Teddy were here today, he'd make this work. And I have great confidence in the place and the institution. It goes through ups and downs, it's never perfect in a sense. And it takes -- somebody said earlier, the Senate changes people. And if you are here for a while you understand it's different and it requires exactly what Olympia said, compromise and collaboration.
It will work again. And so I think he would be optimistic. He'd be troubled by the differences right now.
SCHIEFFER: What do you think, Senator?
MCCAIN: I think you may see his like again. And I've seen with some of the newer and younger members of the Senate. But I don't think you'll see the kind of credentials and background and experience and family.
Let's face it. The Kennedy family is probably as close to royalty as this nation has ever had. Whether that's good or bad, I'm not prepared to say. But I think he brought some unique background and history that probably we may never see again. SNOWE: He was fearless in getting things done, in almost half a century of his remarkable public service. And I think the institute is designed to inspire the next generation of leadership to have that hands-on feeling and understand and appreciation of the potential and the power to do good through public service and by virtue of serving the United States Senate
SCHIEFFER: Do you miss -- ?
MCCAIN: I miss the back-and-forth. I miss -- I keep -- "John," he called me "John," in that accent -- and, yes, I certainly do miss him. I miss the combat. I miss the integrity and I miss the desire to get things done for the people of this country. And I do agree that there will be others that are equally as far as service is concerned. But frankly, for those that's knew him, we may never see his like quite like that again.
SCHIEFFER: Thank you all very much.
DODD: Thank you, Bob.
SCHIEFFER: When Senator Kennedy died in 2009, I remember writing that as I watched his funeral I had thought of a book I had just read called "The Art of Racing in the Rain," in which the protagonist observes that no race has ever been won on the first turn, but many have ended there.
Ted Kennedy crashed and crashed again during the early turns of his life. But somehow he kept on going through the sorrows and tragedies over which he had no control and the self-destructiveness over which he did.
And in the final laps, he won. His children loved him, his contemporaries, even those who often opposed him admired him and those whose causes he championed thanked him.
To what else can a man aspire?
The many laws he authored changed the lives of millions. In many ways he was the classic American hero, the imperfect man who was sorely tested and yet in that testing found a way to overcome personal flaws and go on to accomplish great things.
You didn't have to agree with his politics to appreciate what he achieved.
Back in a minute.
SCHIEFFER: We're back now with our political panel to do a little analysis.
Dan Balz, the chief correspondent for "The Washington Post," who won the prestigious Toner prize for excellence in political reporting just last week.
Congratulations to you, Dan.
Also with us Scott Conroy, the senior political reporter for the "Huffington Post."
And CBS news congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes along with "Politico's" senior congressional reporter Manu Raju.
Let's start with the CBS News poll. Jeb Bush is on top -- no surprise there. Huckabee has slipped a little.
What's interesting about the poll -- and it may be simply because it was being conducted while he was announcing he was running for president, Ted Cruz moved up considerably more than any other candidate.
Is he going to be a viable candidate, Raju?
MANU RAJU, "POLITICO": I think he will be in Iowa. The Iowa caucuses typically appeal to more social conservatives. And you saw of course Huckabee had won that caucus in '08 and in 2012 Rick Santorum won as well.
The question for Ted Cruz is can he broaden his appeal beyond those religious conservatives? Can he put together a coalition that could win in New Hampshire, make him competitive in South Carolina and run the table? That is a very, very big challenge for him.
And it's hardly clear that he can actually amount to that.
SCHIEFFER: But you actually see him as a factor?
RAJU: He will be a factor because he will essentially pull the field to the right. He has positioned himself as an unyielding conservative and someone that folks who are trying to vie for that same segment of voters would have to pay attention to.
When he takes a position, it will be interesting to see how the other candidates adjust to that and whether they move towards him or move a little bit to his left.
SCHIEFFER: Do you agree with the poll, Dan, that it's wide open on Republican?
DAN BALZ, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Oh, yes. We're going to see a lot of fluidity in these numbers month to month as some people rise and fall. Scott Walker had a good month at one point, Ted Cruz makes an announcement and this poll shows some movement there. There was some movement for Rand Paul in here.
But the striking thing about a lot of these numbers is how little most Republicans know about a lot of these candidates. So, the question is, as they begin to come into focus, do their numbers rise or do they fall? SCHIEFFER: One of the interesting things, Nancy, is on Democratic side, I don't think there's any surprise for anyone that Hillary Clinton -- some 80-something percent of Democrats say they could vote for Hillary Clinton.
But what I found interesting was that 66 percent said they would like to see her have a very competitive primary season.
Who would pose the challenge here?
NANCY CORDES, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, the interesting thing is that then, when we asked, OK, look at these other candidates, two-thirds of those same people who answered the polls said they don't know enough about let's say Martin O'Malley or Bernie Sanders to even form any kind of opinion about them.
SCHIEFFER: Bernie Sanders isn't even a Democrat.
CORDES: Exactly. People don't know that.
So yes, there is this hunger for a more active primary so she's just not chlorinated (ph), but there's no consensus on who those other opponents should be.
SCHIEFFER: Scott, let's talk a little bit about Senator Clinton. We learned now from the chairman of the committee that is investigating Benghazi that in fact she has deleted all of the emails that were in her server.
Where is all this?
Is this going to be a factor?
Is this a problem for her?
Has she done something illegal?
SCOTT CONROY, "HUFFINGTON POST": I mean, if you talk to a run of the mill voter I don't think they care so much about the email issue. The problem is, that it feeds into perception that are already pre- ingrained about the Clintons, that they're secretive, that they want to just play by their rules and make their own rules. And I think that is going to be the issue for her.
As far as Hillary coming out and announcing here, I think her biggest concern is coming up with her reason for why she wants to be President of the United States. That question that tripped up Ted Kennedy in 1980.
Why do you want to do this?
She's got to come up with a great answer for that that goes beyond the talking points of, well, I want to help the middle class. Because that is the question people are wondering, they don't want to just see a coronation here. They want to see why she wants to do this. SCHIEFFER: Dan, they are all starting on both sides going to New Hampshire, going to Iowa.
Does Iowa matter any more?
We know Ted Cruz is going out there to try to get the conservatives: that's where Huckabee, I would guess, would be the strongest right now because the Democrats and Republicans out there tend to be evangelical, many of them.
Is Iowa a factor this time?
BALZ: Well, it's a factor for two reasons. One is, it's one of the two places where candidates actually have to talk to voters face to face over an extended period of time. New Hampshire is the other. Both those states have that culture.
So it's important in the sense in testing these candidates as to what they get out of those and how people react to them. The second reason is, it tends to win on the right side of the field. It's not a good indicator necessarily of who is going to be the nominee. But it does wipe out part of the field early on.
SCHIEFFER: My sense of it is that we're going to come down to -- Jeb Bush is going to be a factor right down to the end. And whoever wins the rest of the candidate --
CORDES: But I think you can't -- let's say it's Ted Cruz because after all Rick Santorum last time around, won with just 25 percent of the vote in Iowa. And Ted Cruz could easily get to 25 percent. I'd say he probably has the most loyal followers at this point in the game, aside from maybe, let's say Rand Paul.
RAJU: And the other factor is going to be the money race. I mean, we're going to see -- there's going to be a big indication in the next couple of weeks when these candidates start to report their first quarter numbers. And Jeb Bush has been going before crowds asking for hundred thousand dollar donations apiece for his super PAC. So, the number that he posts early on will show just how formidable that he is, in particular.
CORDES: And then you have got someone like Scott Walker who doesn't quite have the stature yet of some of these other candidates who are well-known, but in the poll only 8 percent of people who responded said they wouldn't consider voting for him. It's the lowest number in the poll. And it shows he's got a lot of room to grow.
SCHIEFFER: Speaking the other surprise to me in this poll was Chris Christie. He's down toward the bottom, but what sticks out is that 40-something percent of the Republicans said, no, they would not consider voting for him. He leads the pack by good measure on that. Is he done?
CONROY: That's a terrible number for Chris Christie, but, the thing to keep in mind here is that you don't need a majority. In a race where we're going to have 12 maybe 15 candidates, Chris Christie can get this in thing, win 25 percent in New Hampshire and be on his way.
I was at a town hall meeting in New Jersey this week, actually, and when Chris Christie is on his game, it's like watching Ted Williams hit a baseball. I mean, the guy just connects with voters better than anyone else in this race.
So I think we're wrong to dismiss him. He's got a big hill to climb now. He's not going to be a front runner. But remember in 2007 John McCain we all said he's got no shot, he had no money, all the establishment support was going to Rudy and Mitt Romney and he became the nominee.
So let's not count him out yet.
SCHIEFFER: What about all this trouble -- I mean, I can't -- I think I said this awhile ago, I can't remember a time when the world was more tangled up than it is right now. You heard me ask Governor Huckabee, do you feel qualified on foreign policy issues? He said, yes, he thought he was. No surprise on that. But is foreign policy going to be an issue?
CORDES: I think it's going to be a very big issue. And it's going to be very important to be able to speak with fluidity about these issues. And this is one area where senators like Marco Rubio or Rand Paul have a real advantage.
This may be the only area where they have an advantage, because the base seems to be clamoring for a governor this time around, someone like Scott Walker and Rick Perry, Chris Christie who secret about the fact that they're boning up on foreign policy and talking to experts, but they are not going to have the same kind of comfort level talking about these issues as someone who talks about them day in and day out.
SCHIEFFER: Dan, what impact is Bibi Netanyahu going to have on this election?
BALZ: Well, he's polarized the whole issue of U.S.-Israeli relationships. And it has forced all the Republicans to identify more closely with him than with policy of their own government. And so he continues to be a factor. We'll see what happens once these Iranian negotiations either reach a conclusion, whether they get deal or not or whether they decide to extend it a few more months.
But he has sharpened the polarization over that particular piece of foreign policy.
SCHIEFFER: You know, Nancy, my sense of it is that we're a long way from a deal right now. What do you think? What feeling are you getting up on The Hill? CORDES: I think we are a ways from a deal. And there's a break on Capitol Hill. And it doesn't necessarily go along party lines. Folks who say, there's no deal, let's vote for more sanctions. And mainly Democrats who say, let's give it more time, let's let this process play out.
So, you know, Netanyahu has had a big influence on Republicans on Capitol Hill and they are lock step with him against this deal.
SCHIEFFER: I'm sorry. Our time, the gong just -- our time has run out.
Thank you all very much. We'll be right back.
SCHIEFFER: That's all the timp we we have for this week's Face the Nation. But if you will tune in to this same place next week Face the Nation will be right here for you. Thanks.