Bob Schieffer on "Uncharted Waters" in 2016: "Entirely Possible The Republican Party Could Break In Half After This"


CBS News contributor and former "Face the Nation" moderator Bob Schieffer joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss how the closeness of the nomination races is revealing the divide within political parties.

BOB SCHIEFFER: What these last ten days have shown, I think, is just how weak the two parties have become and all of these so-called party leaders on both sides, all they can do is just sit there and watch it happen.

GAYLE KING: People always say politics is always nasty, Bob. I thought Jimmy Kimmel said it best when he said how is this happening? Where are the party leaders? Why aren't they stepping in?

BOB SCHIEFFER: They have no leverage any more because the candidates raise their own money. A time when the parties were able to control the money and control delegates. They don't have any leverage on these people any more and they raise their own money and stay in the race as long lasts.

CHARLIE ROSE: What you're saying is this could be permanently damaging. This could be a change for the parties in terms of their relationships?

BOB SCHIEFFER: I tell you i'm not ready to predict this yet, but I think it is entirely possible that the Republican party could break in half after this. I mean, I don't know if that is going to happen, but I think there is now a possibility of that. And when you look at the Democratic party, where they have managed to produce only one legitimate Democratic candidate, Hillary clinton, and she is in the fight of her life with Bernie Sanders, a very nice man, but someone who has never sought office as a democrat. That shows you just how weak the party structure is on both sides. So who knows what will happen.

ROSE: How core constituents are supporting Sanders rather than her.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Yeah. I mean, if hillary clinton can't get the vote of young women, where does she go? And, right now, she is having a problem with that.

GAYLE KING: What impact do you think this dustup with the pope will have? What are you thinking?

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, I don't know. Quite frankly, Gayle, i'll tell you this. I don't think you should underestimate the catholic vote in South Carolina. The only place that Mitt Romney did not carry the Catholic vote last time out and he would not have gotten the republican nomination had -- he got 50% of the catholic vote everywhere but in South Carolina. But you know who beat him in South Carolina? A Catholic, Newt Gingrich. I don't know how that figures in this time around but i'm not underestimating that.

ROSE: There is also the possibility of a third-party. Michael Bloomberg may run.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Yes. And I think that is increasing by the moment, the possibility of that. We will see. The question you have to ask here is if Bloomberg does get in and he's one of the few independents that has the money and stuff to get on the ballot, he can do this, but who does he help and who does he hurt? I'm not sure of that so far.

ROSE: The Democrats fear they will be hurt.

BOB SCHIEFFER: I think they do. But, you know, who knows in this political year where nothing seems to come out the way conventional wisdom thought it was.

ROSE: Who wou believe it possibly could end up in the House if, in fact, there is a third-party?

BOB SCHIEFFER: He could. He absolutely could. This whole thing is kind of scary. This whole thing is really kind of scary, because we are moving into unchartered waters here. You know, if jeb bush finishes fourth here, he probably lives to go for another day, at least to super Tuesday. You may have four people coming out of there. So i'm not sure the race is whilts whittled all that much. I think we will have an open convention on the republican side and who knows, might have two. All reporters are hoping that happens. We can't put our wishes ahead of our logic and our analysis because we have never had one and we all think, wow, this would be the most fun thing in the world for us!

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